Star squash player Joan faces Jersey opponent in singles final
Team Shetland is guaranteed at least a silver medal later on Tuesday after Joan Smith came from a set down to beat host island Bermuda’s Laura Joanne Robinson in her semi-final.
It followed straight sets victories over Janet Lesley May of Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands’ Eilidh Bridgeman. After losing the first set 11-6, Joan stormed back to win the final three 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.
The final, getting under way at 7pm local time (11pm in the UK), will see her take on Jersey’s Sarah Taylor. The latter defeated another Shetlander, Kerry Pottinger, in straight sets (11-5, 11-3, 11-6) in the other semi final.
Kerry still has a chance of bronze when she takes on Robinson in the third/fourth place play-off. Earlier in the singles competition, she had seen off Gibraltar’s Gail Attias in straight sets (11-7, 11-4, 11-5). She then defeated teammate Hannah Garrick 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 on Sunday afternoon.
There are also medal hopes in Tuesday evening’s swimming finals (see separate story) as Team Shetland looks to build on the silver and bronze success of triathletes Lynsey Henderson and Peter Fenwick on Sunday.
The form shown by Kerry and Joan bodes well for the women’s doubles competition, in which the pair have received a bye to the semi finals. It gets underway on Tuesday.
In the men’s squash event, Billy Mycock and Ramsay Hogg have faced stiff competition. Billy did have a 3-0 success in his opening match against Raul Sink of Saremaa. But that was followed by three straight sets defeats.
Ramsay’s best performance came against Gibraltar’s Christian Navas. The match went to five sets, with Ramsay leading 2-1 at one stage before succumbing. Billy and Ramsay will face each other in the 15th/16th placed play-off.
The women have been “excelling” against some top players in their event, Billy said, while he and Ramsay were not disheartened by their results against some top-class opponents.
“The guys we are playing are so good that you can play an entire game without winning a point and not feel like you missed out,” Billy said. “We are competing but playing against the professional elite is always going to be climbing a cliff face.”
He said that with the heat remaining as high as 27C even at night, even though the indoor squash venue was a little cooler and less humid than expected, conditions remain tough: “When you step into the court you are hit with a wall of heat – like stepping into an oven.”
Middle distance runner Alan Williamson pronounced himself delighted after he finished third in Heat 2 of the 800m. His time of 2:03.85, short of his own PB, left him a few metres short of the second place he required for a place in Tuesday night’s final, but it had been a tremendous experience nevertheless.
“Coming third in a games race is the best I have ever done,” he said. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to do it over here in Bermuda.”
Alan is in action again in the 400m heats on Wednesday, then the 4x100m and 4x400m relays on Friday.
Sprint pair Gareth Robertson and Haydn Thomason finished fourth and fifth in their respective heats with times of 11.78 seconds and 11.32 seconds in the 100m heats.
Golf team captain Ross MacDougall said it had been a difficult first day on the Port Royal course. He shot a round of 88, while Jordan Leask posted an 89, Lee C scored 93 and Mark Penders completed the 18 holes in 96 shots.
“The course is really good,” Ross told this newspaper. “But you have to be hitting the ball well to get around it in any score. Everything slopes towards bunkers and water so if you don’t hit it perfect you are in trouble! The heat is also a problem – keeping grip ain’t easy, although they are letting us use buggies which helps.”
Shetland’s lone sailor Maggie Adamson found herself in the middle of the pack following the first two races (there are 10 in all) of the laser radial rig on Sunday. Scores of 16 and 12 left her in 13th place out of 19 competitors.