Last-gasp heartbreak for England

Kadeen Corbin, left, and Geva Mentor, right, take in England's narrow defeat

Kadeen Corbin, left, and Geva Mentor, right, take in England's narrow defeat

First published in National Sport © by

England suffered the cruellest of semi-final heartbreaks as they suffered an agonising last-second defeat to New Zealand to miss out on their first ever gold-medal match at the Commonwealth Games.

For the second time in the tournament, England wasted a golden chance to pull off one of their greatest ever results, losing possession in the final moments to gift their opponents and two-time reigning champions a 35-34 victory.

Amid shredded nerves and in front of a vocal full-house at the SECC venue, Anna Mayes' side led by four points in the second quarter, four in the third, and three at one point in the fourth, only to falter at the crucial moment.

Against Australia in the pool stage, Jo Harten's miss cost England dear. On this occasion a turnover following an error from Kadeen Corbeen gave Maria Tutaia the chance to make the winning shot and leave England crestfallen.

Centre Sara Bayman said: "The gap is small between us and Australia and New Zealand. We've lost in the fourth quarter both by one - we know we are on a level with those teams but you have got to get over the line.

"Whether it is a mental thing or a pressure thing, whatever it is, you have got to have it to win the games like today.

"When we have got a team under the pump, we need to really push on and press that advantage home, and we have not done that - it is a problem we have."

Tom Daley responded strongly after again hitting a stumbling block on his nemesis dive to qualify in first place in defence of his 10 metres platform title in Edinburgh.

Daley has had trouble when it comes to the 'twister' - a back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twists - and scored just 37.80, after landing with quite a splash.

But he shrugged off the poor plunge to finish with a total of 488.85 to go through in first place, with Matthew Mitcham of Australia, the 2008 Olympic champion, second with 450.80.



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