Day 2 provided the biggest upset of the team competition to date as Scotland beat group seeds Turkey to take control of group 3 and put one foot in the quarter finals with the Grimley twins shouldering much of the point scoring responsibilities.
Christopher Grimley teamed up with Ciara Torrance to give the Scots the perfect start in the opening mixed doubles a point that many felt would decide the tie. Matthew Grimley followed with probably the gutsiest performance of the day to win in three games that extended over 1 hour. After sharing the opening games 24-22 Grimley called on all his reserves to take down Kubilay Sadi in the decider to give the Scots the lead they needed in the tie.
The Turkish girls began to take over thereafter and a very strong Busra Unlu secured the first point for Turkey in the women’s singles before both Grimley’s were called back into action. Indeed, Matthew Grimley was back on court just half an hour after his epic singles victory but showed no signs of fatigue with the fancied individual medallists from Scotland easily securing the third and final point for Scotland.
Turkey did bounce back with the final women’s singles but that was two little too late and the Turks will now hope that Finland can do them a favour in the final round of matches tomorrow but all signs lead to Scotland topping the group and justifiably so.
England walked their way to top spot in group 2 after victories over Spain and Bulgaria. The English young guns dropped just one match in both ties and today’s emphatic victory over Bulgaria sent a clear signal to the rest, England are here with a team that can challenge for a medal.
“Getting the first two singles today against Bulgaria was critical” said Steven Stallwood (pictured above winning mixed doubles) after securing the 5-0 whitewash. “We had no clue what Bulgaria had to offer so we knew we had to come out strong and we could not have wished for any more than this result.”
The English will also benefit from a rest day tomorrow while the rest of the teams slog it out for the other 7 quarter finals berths.
Dutch looking strong as real medal contenders
Group 6 has turned into a real dog fight between The Netherlands and Sweden as both head into a final group decider with a winner take all quarter final prize as the carrot at the end of the stick. The young Dutch look to have a well-balanced team and will go in as very slight favourites against the Swedes tomorrow.
“We knew that today’s match against Iceland would be relatively easy but we still had to stay focused and get the job done” said Debora Jille after the Netherlands 5-0 afternoon session win “It will be a tough game tomorrow against Sweden as they have a very strong team and we will have to find another level to beat them”.
Czech Republic and Russia will also battle it out for top spot in their group with the young Czechs looking like they have what it takes to make the quarter finals while Germany (pictured above) and Poland will fight for group 7 honours. Both the Germans and the Poles have exactly the same matches and games difference but this will mean nothing tomorrow as a quarter final spot awaits the winner.
For all today’s results from Lubin click HERE
For a full facebook gallery from today’s play click HERE
To revisit all the action from court 2 on demand click HERE
Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe