TEAM NI: Cyclist Martyn Irvine into final

Northern Ireland's Martyn Irvine in the 40km points race qualifying race
Northern Ireland's Martyn Irvine in the 40km points race qualifying race

Scottish pair Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean will have the chance for a second Commonwealth Games gold in as many days at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome after reaching Saturday’s final of the sprint B tandem.

Visually-impaired para-cyclist Fachie and pilot MacLean won the 1,000 metre time-trial on Friday, to deafening applause and cheers from the man who lent the venue its name, and have the chance to repeat that success when they go head to head with Australians Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett.

Fachie and MacLean qualified second fastest behind the Australians and eased past Welsh pair Matthew Ellis and Ieuan Williams in the semi-final with back-to-back wins.

Ellis and Williams have a chance to collect their second bronze of the Games when they go against a second Australia duo of Paul Kennedy and Thomas Clarke.

In the women’s sprint, 500m time-trial bronze medallist Jess Varnish of England was the last home nations hope standing at the semi-final stage.

Varnish qualified in third place behind Australian pair Anna Meares, Australia’s record-breaking time-trial winner, and Stephanie Morton, whose 10.984 was a new Games record.

Varnish was too good for compatriot Victoria Williamson in the quarter-finals, winning consecutive races with plenty to spare and will now face Olympic sprint champion Meares in the last four.

England’s world junior champion Danni Khan and Scotland’s Jenny Davis were swept aside by the Australians in the quarters.

The 40km points race heats whittled down 34 starters to a 24-man field for Saturday evening’s final, including three representatives each from Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man as well as England’s Andy Tennant and Northern Ireland flag-bearer Martyn Irvine.

Welshman Jonathan Mould finished joint first in the first heat with 28 points, while Manxmen Pete Kennaugh and Mark Christian led the way in the second scoring 29 and 28 respectively.