Cyclist Georgia Williams’ bronze was a rare bright spot on Day 7, when the home nation smothered the Kiwis in netball and cricket. LockerRoom watched the good and the bad.
Performance of the day
On the roads of Wolverhampton, Georgia Williams powered her way to a bronze medal in cycling’s road time trial, to add to her Gold Coast silver in the road race.
A four-time national time trial champion, Williams finished the 28.8km race in 41m 25.27s, just 1m 20s behind gold medal winner Grace Brown from Australia. 23-year-old Mikayla Harvey finished in 20th, with a time of 44m 55.84s.
An overwhelmed Williams was thrilled with a second Games medal. “I’m more emotional than I thought, I’m super proud,” she said.
“I did what I could and left it all out there, so I’m happy. It was technical and hard and hilly, there was always something that you couldn’t lose concentration on; it was full gas… but I’m happy with how I paced myself.”
Williams will get a chance to make a full set of medals in Sunday’s road race, with four Kiwi team-mates in the peleton.
Quote of the day
“I think it’s not a bad thing to have an experience like that before a semifinal, especially coming up against a really strong Jamaican side. Areas of our game were exposed that we’re going to look at and sort out and come out firing.” Silver Fern Kate Heffernan after their 10-goal loss to England.
The good news
Two Kiwis will contest the hammer throw final, with defending Games champion Julia Ratcliffe looking in strong medal contention. After a silver in Glasgow and a gold in the Gold Coast, Ratcliffe faces stiff competition from Canada’s Camryn Rogers, who threw a Games record of 74.68 in her first attempt (one metre more than Ratcliffe’s personal best).
Ratcliffe was the only other athlete to make the automatic qualifying mark of 68m, throwing 68.73m on her second attempt. She’s joined in the final by Nicole Bradley, who qualified eighth with 61.77m. A tearful Lauren Bruce didn’t get on the board with her three attempts.
Another Kiwi going for gold in an athletics final is high jumper Keeley O’Hagan, with a 1.81m clearance enough to qualify in the top 12. O’Hagan missed her first attempt at 1.76m but only needed one shot at 1.81m, (her personal best is 1.88m set in March).
In the 400m hurdles, Portia Bing finished third in her heat, fading in the last 100m to finish behind two Kenyans, but still comfortably making the final in a time of 56.32s, less than a second slower than her career best.
The Black Sticks are through to the hockey semis, finishing pool play with a decisive 4-1 win over South Africa.
It was a confidence boost for the defending gold medallists, smarting from their 1-0 loss to Australia, and three goals in the opening quarter sealed the deal. The best moment: Kaitlin Cotter’s stunning penalty corner push goal in the final quarter. The worst: seeing defender Frances Davies leave the field with a bloodied face.
After a disappointing singles campaign, Joelle King is back on track in the squash doubles. Her and Amanda Landers-Murphy easily dispatched Guyana, 11-3, 11-8 in their first match, and a few hours later, King and new men’s singles gold medallist Paul Coll were all smiles after beating the duo from Pakistan 11-4, 11-3. The other Kiwi women’s pair of Abbie Palmer and Kaitlyn Watts couldn’t find a win, losing in two games to Scotland.
New Zealand’s women’s triples came out on top in a thrilling quarterfinal clash with Australia to advance to the semifinals. After a strong start by the Kiwis, skipped by Val Smith, the Australians drew level at 10-10, making it anyone’s game. But New Zealand then stormed to a 15-10 victory.
Havana Hopman and Paris Chin have made it through to the all-round final of rhythmic gymnastics with a solid performance on day one. Hopman was 16th overall, and Chin 17th, but with the rule of only two gymnasts from each country in the top 16 final, Chin sneaked in. Hopman also has a shot at a medal in the clubs, after nabbing the eighth and final qualifying spot with a score of 27.000.
The mixed badminton pair of Anona Pak and Oliver Leydon-Davis are through to the round of 16, the duo from Mauritius not providing too much trouble for the Kiwis, who won 2-0 (21-7, 21-10).
The not-so-good news
It was a day when England completely bamboozled New Zealand. First the White Ferns losing to the home nation by seven wickets, then the Roses punishing the Silver Ferns by 10 goals.
The Silver Ferns will now meet the giant-killing Jamaicans in netball’s semifinals, after they struggled against defending champs England this morning. Going down 54-44, it was obvious New Zealand are yet to find their strongest seven, with cohesion through court still evading them.
Coach Dame Noeline Taurua says England’s massive 900 test caps were the telling factor in the Ferns’ defeat.
While the Roses started confident in every third of the court, the Silver Ferns were hesitant to release the ball and shoot. They paid heavily for it, down 15-8 at the first break.
England had no trouble threading the ball through court to “The Claw” – goal shoot Eleanor Cardwell – while New Zealand stumbled.
As expected, England’s evergreen goal keep Geva Mentor stuck like glue to Grace Nweke (the most prolific shooter in this tournament) and had her rattled.
New Zealand rang the changes, with immediate effect – the Ferns closing to within one. Young Kate Heffernan read the play brilliantly at wing defence, lifting the entire defence. And the injection of Te Paea Selby-Rickit opened up spaces on attack and improved the shooting – the Ferns winning the quarter 16-10, to trail by just one, 25-24, at halftime.
It was the only time the Ferns looked truly in control. England brought their No.1 shooter Jo Harten into the game, but it was goal attack Helen Housby’s incredible long shot that made all the difference. It all fell apart for the Ferns when the relentless Roses closed up the attacking avenues – the gap widening to six going into the final spell.
New Zealand brought on its veterans, and closed to within three. But England’s defence was too cloying, forcing the Ferns into basic mistakes.
Jamaica, who have Mystics coach Rob Wright on their bench, will be a massive challenge, says Ferns captain Gina Crampton. The Sunshine Girls toppled Australia for the first time in 11 years, to top their pool.
Maddy Green at the wicket of the White Ferns in their seven-wicket loss to England.
The White Ferns now have the toughest route to the T20 cricket final, after a poor batting effort saw England easily chase down their total of 71 in the 12th over. Both teams were unbeaten in pool play and had already qualified for the semifinals, but were playing to top the pool and avoid the dominant Australia in the crossover.
Maddy Green top-scored with 19, with Hannah Rowe the only other batter making double figures. New Zealand never looked capable of defending, and when a wicket from Devine was overturned after the television umpire noticed a front foot no ball, England cruised to 72/3, with 50 balls to spare.
The Ferns will have to lift themselves up again to take on Australia in the semifinal on Sunday morning.
Gold Coast boxing bronze medallist Troy Garton’s Commonwealth Games has come to an end, with a 4-1 points loss to India’s Jaismine Jaismine in her lightweight quarterfinal.
In her first Games outing, 17-year-old Mikali Dawson couldn’t make the 10m platform diving final, struggling with her entrances after a solid start, and finishing last in her heat.
LockerRoom’s Games guru, Sarah Cowley Ross, is looking forward to Kiwis taking on the home side this weekend.
“Amanda Landers-Murphy came out of retirement for these Games to pair up with her good mate Joelle King in the women’s doubles squash, and will meet England in the quarterfinals.
“Also taking on the home nation in their quarterfinal is the Kiwi beach volleyball pairing of Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley. The atmosphere is building at the central Smithfeild venue for the knockout stages of the tournament.
“In yet another match up against England, the Black Sticks will meet them in the hockey semifinals tomorrow. The Black Sticks got one over the English at last month’s World Cup but on home soil all bets are off. Look to co-captain Olivia Merry to lead from the front in what will be a huge battle for the defending champions.”
Who’s up next
FRIDAY AUGUST 5
LAWN BOWLS: Pairs, triples, 7.30pm (potential pairs semi 11pm)
DIVING: Maggie Squire, 1m springboard, 9pm (potential final Sat 5.05am)
WRESTLING: Tayla Ford (68kg), 9.30pm (potential medal match Sat 4am)
SATURDAY AUGUST 6
BADMINTON: Mixed doubles, 12am
RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Paris Chin, Havana Hopman, individual all-around final, 12.30am
HOCKEY: New Zealand vs England, semifinal, 5am
SQUASH: Women’s doubles quarterfinal, 5.05am; mixed doubles quarterfinal, 7.15am
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: New Zealand vs England, quarterfinal, 7am