North Coast duo shock exits from Commonwealth Games
SQUASH: Touted as Australia's best gold medal hopes on the squash court, Cameron Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly were shock exits from the men's doubles in yesterday's quarter-finals round.
Pilley and Cuskelly were seeded at the top of the competition heading into the Games after clinching the Doubles World Championship in Manchester last year.
But they could do nothing to overcome an emotional sudden death decider against English duo Darryl Selby and Adrian Waller.
The two teams went blow for blow throughout the contest, with the highest lead at any stage in the contest at four points, when the English pair went to 8-4 up in the second set (they won the set 11-8).
It was a tough win for Selby, who has only recently started a web-based squash podcast with Yamba's Pilley, with the English star lost for words after a gripping quarter-final.
"I don't know what to say, another emotional sudden death decider,” he said.
"I always feel for the other team in these situations but delighted for Waller that we were able to sneak a huge win.”
Fellow Yamba squash star Donna Urquhart has snuck her way through to the women's doubles semi-finals today after her and partner Rachel Grinham came from behind against Wales team Tesni Evans and Deon Saffery.
After losing the first game to the Welsh team, Urquhart and Grinham were facing a dire situation at 9-1 down in the second of a best of three match.
But the pair gritted their teeth and fought back, to take the second game in a tie-break before clinching the final game in dominant fashion 11-3.
Urquhart said it was a special moment to fight back from the depths of the contest.
"I think the key was that we didn't think about it. I never thought it was over. They made a few errors and things started to go our way,” she said.
"Even after winning the second, we still felt like the underdogs. Knowing that they'd been up and lost it, we had to keep playing confidently, but make sure we didn't relax.”
Urquhart also praised the raucous crowd at the Carara Squash Centre, as they kept getting louder with every point the Aussie pair clawed back.
"Every point we got back, they just got louder and louder,” Urquhart said.
"When we were down, we thought, 'Oh, we can't lose it' and we almost found ourselves playing a bit safe for them. We couldn't have won without them.”