Scotland came back from their disappointing 3-2 defeat by Canada to score their first victory at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2017 today when they defeated New Zealand 4-1 in Group 2A on the Gold Coast.
Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh got the ball rolling with a battling win over Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Oliver Leydon-Davis 19-21 21-10 21-15. It might have been over in two games if Campbell and MacHugh had been able to capitalise on a seven-point burst from 18-12 down to lead 19-18 in the opener. But they got into top gear to lead all the way in the second then recovered from 4-2 down in the decider to surge to 10-5 up on the way to taking the opening contest in 48 minutes.
Kirsty Gilmour, who was playing singles and doubles today, wasted no time putting Scotland 2-0 up with a 21-5 21-9 win over Gaea Galvez in a match lasting just 21 minutes.
That was the cue for Kieran Merrilees to secure the winning lead when he overcame Oscar Guo 21-15 21-18 in a match where he was always in control. From 3-3 in the first game he always set the pace but he still wasn’t happy with his performance. On securing Scotland’s first win in the Group Merrilees, who had food poisoning a few days ago, said: “We really needed to win this match after losing to Canada.
“I feel better but my form was terrible today. It was enough to win but I need to play a lot better tomorrow against Vietnam.
“I wasn’t really concentrating so well. I think the game was quite comfortable so I wasn’t really going 100 per cent. Hopefully I can play better.”
Vietnam won 5-0 against Canada in today’s other Group 2A contest and Merrilees added: “If we beat Vietnam we still have a good chance of winning the group. That’s the aim. We know it will be very hard to qualify first but that is what we are trying to do.
“We were surprised that Canada didn’t field their best team today. I don’t really know why. When we saw that we thought we now have a very good chance of trying to reach the number one position. We will be going all out against Vietnam, definitely.”
With the winning lead secured Gilmour returned to the court to partner Julie MacPherson to women’s doubles victory over Sally Fu and Danielle Tahuri They won 21-9 21-7, breaking away from 1-1 in the first game to lead all the way without ever being troubled.
Adam Hall and Eleanor O’Donnell were hoping to follow up their mixed doubles win against the Canadians by taking on Leydon-Davis and sister Susannah in the final contest. But their hopes of completing a 5-0 whitewash were dashed as they went down 21-17 12-21 21-13.
So the outcome of the clash with Vietnam tomorrow will determine who Scotland meet in the positional play-off against the equivalent placed team from Group 2B, which contains hosts Australia, Austria, Singapore and USA.
For all today’s results and tomorrow’s schedule go to www.tournamentsoftware.com