England into doubles final – part 1
It’s first blood to England on a day of England-Australia clashes in the Commonwealth Games squash doubles tournaments in Delhi today.
England duo Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro fought back from a game down to beat the favourites Kasey Brown and Donna Urquhart in a gripping women’s semi-final that left Duncalf feeling all “a bit goose-pimpley”.
Despite going ahead early, the English pair lost the first game, 11-6. Undeterred, they came out fighting in the second and with some superb play from Duncalf, forcing the Australians into the back corners, they brought the match level at 1-1.
The Australians seemed to target the less experienced Massaro for much of the third, but some excellent work by the 26-year-old from Preston kept her opponents on the back foot and England closed out the match 11-4.
For Duncalf, the women’s singles semi-finalist, securing a second Delhi medal was a great start to another tough day.
The 27-year-old world number two plays against Kasey and Cameron Pilley in the mixed doubles semi-final with James Willstrop at 14:00 Delhi time.
"Hopefully it'll lift me and 'de-lift' Kasey - if that's even a word,” said Duncalf who teamed up with Massaro for the first time just three days ago after her scheduled partner, Alison Waters, injured an Achilles in the singles.
"It's our first tournament together, but we felt quietly confident,” said Duncalf. "We've been saying the whole time that anyone in the England team can play together. We've got such a good understanding."
Massaro, who held her nerve during her “pummelling”, said: "It took me a game to settle down. It kept going through my head in the third game that they could win. You've just got to learn as you're out there.”
Duncalf and Willstrop’s semi-final is followed by another England-Australia match-up when English number ones Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant take on Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly in the men’s doubles, scheduled to start at 15:00 local time.