There was success for Sport Northern Ireland supported athletes in Glasgow this morning when the Men’s triples beat Wales in bowls, ensuring at least a silver medal in tomorrow’s final.
Neil Booth, Paul Daly and Neil Mulholland beat the Wales side 20-12 at Kelvingrove and will compete against South Africa on Monday. The NI side were 10-8 with eight ends to go in the semi-final but bounced back to secure the win.
“It was very similar to yesterday, both times we have managed to claw our way back. The important thing is to dig in when you are a few shots down so that’s what we managed to do and we made sure to keep the momentum up. We are delighted with the result and are confident going forward to the final,” said Neil Booth.
He added: “There’s no reason why we can’t go out there and win the final tomorrow. We are a good triple and have good experience in the triple so we are confident.”
In the women’s singles, Craigavon woman Catherine McMillen will compete for a bronze medal this evening in a match against South Africa’s Colleen Piketh. She lost out in semi-final against New Zealand’s Jo Edwards on Saturday morning 21-8.
“I really struggled from the start. I let her get too much of a lead and it was too much of a challenge to get back from that,” said McMillen.
She added: “She’s too experienced; she is never going to let you come back from that. I suppose I put everything into it but this morning it just didn’t happen for me. I didn’t expect to get this far so I was happy to get out of the group. To play for gold and silver, I suppose it overwhelmed me a bit, maybe.”
There were two more semi-finals for the Northern Ireland swimming team on Sunday.
Sycerika McMahon described herself as “frustrated” with her time of 1:10.07 in the heats of the women’s 100m breaststroke but the Portaferry Olympian is still 10th fastest going into tonight’s session.
Michael Dawson has made it through to his second semi-final of the Commonwealth Games. In this morning’s heats of the 50m breaststroke he swam his quickest time since the bodysuits were outlawed of 28:92 (only 3-hundredths off his all-time PB) and is the 14th fastest into the evening semis.
“Really happy to have swum that fast in the morning and there were a few mistakes in there as well so I’m hopeful I can go faster tonight. We’re doing fantastically well, we have a very young team out here and it’s brilliant to get back for a second swim,” explained Dawson.
Bethany Firth was 26th overall in the women’s 100m freestyle (59:24) and says her experience in Glasgow will help her when she returns to Paralympic action for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“I am loving this experience but it’s much different to what I’ve been used to. I haven’t raced against these girls before but I hope to bring what I’ve learnt into the Paralympics. The main difference is that a lot of these girls have been here before and they know what they’re doing because they’ve been doing it for years and they are used to this environment.”
Curtis Coulter was 21st fastest in the 100m fly while 14 year-old Danielle Hill was 14th in the women’s 200m backstroke.
Gladys Ganiel kicked off athletics for Team NI on Sunday, finishing 12th in the Women’s Marathon with a time of 2:40.29. Kenya took top two positions.
In table tennis, Team NI beat Scotland 3-1 in the final of the classification event, finishing 13th overall.
Men’s Triples Semi-final A, Wales vs Northern Ireland (DALY Paul, MULHOLLAND Neil, BOOTH Neil), 12-20. Through to final on Sunday and guaranteed at least a Silver medal.
Women’s Singles Semi-final B, EDWARDS Jo NZL vs McMILLEN Catherine NIR, 21-8. Competes for Bronze later on Sunday.