Dylan Cummings’ Commonwealth Games column | Day 4 | Birmingham 2022

Australia and Canada book their places in their respective finals whilst UK home nations will battle for bronze.

Canada’s undefeated streak continued and led them to the finals as they beat Scotland 12-5 in the opening contest. Kady Dandeneau was the leading scorer for her team with 5 points.

Speaking after the game, Tara Llanes was elated that her team made the final.

“We are so stoked. This year has been a learning curve in terms of getting our heads around the 3×3 format. Now I feel like we’re grooving and really figuring it out. We hope we can bring the gold medal back to Canada and represent our country well.”

The unbeaten Aussie Gliders punched their ticket to the final with a tightly contested 8-6 win over hosts England. The early 2-point lead that the Aussies achieved courtesy of Amber Merritt would prove to be beneficial for them as they were able to stay ahead until the final buzzer sounded. Merritt ended the game with 4 points personal.

Post-match, Hannah Dodd spoke about what it meant to her to get through to the gold medal game.

“I’m pretty ecstatic right now, regardless of the result tomorrow we’ll be going home with a medal. That takes a lot of weight off our chests because what we came to do was medal and to know that that’s guaranteed is a great feeling. We knew the English girls were going to be tough as we match up fairly evenly with our lineups. We stuck to our game plan and it was an aggressive style of play which suited us. I’m very happy and excited for tomorrow.”

Australia and England would meet again in another close encounter this time in the men’s competition. It was England who started off strong as they had a 4 point lead as the halfway mark neared. The level headed Aussies then started to bring themselves back into it with scores coming from across the team. Lee Manning tied up the game 10-10 to force overtime. Manning scored the first point in the OT period to bring England one point away from victory. However, a thunderous 2-point buzzer beater from Lachlin Dalton ensured that Australia advanced to the final, 12-11.

Australia’s Jake Kavanagh commented on his team’s outstanding performance.

“I always thought we had a chance to win. We started off a little bit slow but in the end all that matters is that we got the win. It’s a good feeling to beat the home team. We’re pretty confident heading into the final coming off a game like that. Everyone played really well and got good minutes, I don’t see why we can’t replicate that again tomorrow.”

Canada saw off Malaysia 14-9 in the final game of the day to secure their spot in the final. All 3 of Canada’s players contributed to their early 4 point lead and from there they just kept ploughing ahead. Top scorer Colin Higgins had an impressive personal performance with 11 points.

Post-game, Vincent Dallaire spoke about how Canada is looking forward to making history.

“It’s a cool experience to be one of the first wheelchair basketball teams to make a Commonwealth final. It’s been a process to get here and we’re continuing to follow the process. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll play our best game of the tournament and come away with the gold.”

For more Commonwealth coverage follow Rollt.


Text: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Markus Binda

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