TEAM NI: Day Three review

Team Northern Ireland
Team Northern Ireland

There was success for Team NI on day three of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with athletes qualifying in cycling, bowls and swimming and racking up another PB in swimming.

In cycling, Martyn Irvine is safely into tonight’s points race final after coming through qualifying.

Catherine McMillan is through to the quarter-finals of the women’s singles lawn bowls after a 21-12 win over previously unbeaten Natalie Melmore from England. With four wins from five games McMillan topped her group. The QFs take place on Saturday evening.

The men’s triples skipped by Neil Booth lost their final group game to South Africa but had already made it to the last eight.

After losing their first two games on Thursday the men’s pair of Ian McClure and Martin McHugh won their remaining three games, including this morning victory over Canada and secured a place in this evening’s quarter-finals.

In shooting, David Christie (13th) and Clement Buchanan (22nd) both missed out on the final of the men’s skeet.

Meanwhile David Calvert and Jack Alexander remain in fourth place and in the hunt for a medal in the full bore rifle pairs event, which is scheduled to finish this afternoon.

Swimmer Jordan Sloan has qualified for the semi-finals of the men’s 50m backstroke as 11th fastest after recording a time of 26.25 in his morning heat.

Curtis Coulter was 12th quickest in the heats of the men’s 100m freestyle in a time of 50.63 and makes the semi-finals. David Thompson just missed out in 18th place (51.15) with Conor Munn 30th (53.30).

In the women’s 50m butterfly Gemma Kane was 20th in a new personal best time of 28.22 with Bethany Firth just behind in 22nd (28.51). And in her least favourite event, the 200m breaststroke, Sycerika McMahon was 12th fastest in 2:31.98.

After winning this morning’s match in table tennis 3-0 against Mauritius, the Northern Ireland team now faces Ghana in a classification round this afternoon.

In Badminton, the Northern Ireland team lost to Jersey 5-0 in their final group game of the mixed team event and failed to make the knockout stages.

Despite a strong fight, Judo’s Mark Montgomery lost his opening match in the men’s -100kg class and was eliminated from the competition.

In the +100kg class Gavin McNeill appeared to have won his repechage to move into a fight later for the bronze medal but the referee reversed the decision and eliminated him.

Madeline Perry was beaten 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 by the world number four Joelle King from New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the women’s squash bringing to an end a Commonwealth Games singles career that has spanned sixteen years and five Games.

“She was really good today, I don’t think I played particularly well but she didn’t let me in. That was the first match I’d played on the glass court and I struggled with my timing and my hitting and my movement just wasn’t flowing. It was always difficult,” explained Perry after the game.

Perry had come through a tough game in the last sixteen on Friday against Kasey Brown. The Australian had beaten her in five sets in Delhi four years ago but Perry had gained revenged. However she added that hadn’t affected her performance against King.

“I’ve actually a pretty good record against Joelle so I was pretty confident but on that court today she was better than me.”

Reflecting on her Commonwealth Games singles campaign Perry added, “I’m a little bit more satisfied this time, I really went out there and gave everything and came up against a better player. In Delhi I didn’t think I did myself justice but this time I came in here and I’ve enjoyed it, the Commonwealth squash tournament is a tough one. I’ll reflect on this performance and I guess I won’t be playing for too much longer but I’ll keep assessing it in the short term and once I stop enjoying it I won’t do it anymore.”

The Northern Ireland squad finished sixth in the first ever mixed team triathlon relay at the Commonwealth Games.

Aileen Reid led the way and stormed to the front in a group that included England, Canada and New Zealand. Conor Murphy held that position though the second leg but the group grew to eight countries.

Eimear Mullen and Russell White brought the team home in 6th in a time of 1:15.52, just under 2.30 behind winners England who included both individual winners, Alistair Brownlee and Jodie Stimpson.