Top seeds New Zealand retained their women’s and mixed titles at the WSF World Doubles Championships in Manchester with Australia claiming the men’s.
The women’s final saw top seeds and defending champions Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy from New Zealand take on England’s Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters, the fifth seeds.
The Kiwis raced ahead taking a 9/5 lead in the first, but six points in a row for the English duo gave Waters & Duncalf the lead 11/9. The Kiwis then made an astonishing comeback in the second, taking control to level, 11/1.
England were then presented with three match points at 10/8 in the decider but the Kiwis regrouped to save all three. After a series of tense rallies ending in lets, finally it was the English who hit the tin enabling New Zealand to retain the gold - 9/11, 11/1, 11/10 (46m).
“That was so tough,” said a delighted and relieved Landers-Murphy. “We were ahead in all the games, just glad that we could stay strong and keep it together at the end.”
Duncalf, 34, said: “Losing 11/10 in the third is always quite tough. We did well to win the first and then the second was a bit of a disaster. The third was very up and down and they won it right at the end. They are the defending champions and we knocked out the Commonwealth gold medallists (Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal of India) so we’re very pleased with that.”
Waters and King were then straight back on court for the mixed final with partners Paul Coll and Daryl Selby. This also went to three games as the Kiwis held sway in the first, taking the lead 11/8, but the English pair pulled back a deficit in the second to level affairs 11/9.
The match was fiercely contested, with spectacular dives from both Coll and Selby entertaining the crowd, and momentum swinging between the pairs as the match went on.
But New Zealand ultimately had too much for England in the final period of the game, opening up an unassailable lead and closing out the match 11/8, 9/11, 11/6.
“We felt good together again today,” said a delighted Coll. “We dropped off a bit in the second, but managed to get early leads in the first and third, which always takes the pressure off.
“We have a great team spirit in the Kiwi camp, it’s been a tough week to start the season off, but a lot of fun, and we’re obviously delighted to be going back with more gold medals!”
Selby, 34, said: “We were seeded five so to win a silver medal is a fantastic achievement, to push the reigning world champions as hard as we did is really pleasing. Al and Joelle both did really well to play two matches in a row and we weren’t far away in the end.”
In the men’s final, Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley put on a clinical display against the defending champions Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban of Scotland pulling away at the end of the first game to lead 11/6, then dominating the second as they moved to 10/2.
The Scots saved one match ball, but in the next rally Pilley, renowned as the hardest hitter in squash, was presented with three opportunities in a row to slam a mid-court ball into the nick – and on the third attempt, the ball rolled giving the Aussies the gold.
“We’ve had a lot of tough matches with them,” said Pilley. “They beat us last year so it was good to turn the tables this time. There were some brutal rallies in the first, but we stuck to our game plan and it worked out, then in the second we continued to execute and they made a few errors which helped our cause.”
Women:  King / Landers-Murphy (Nzl) 2-1  Duncalf / Waters (Eng) 9/11, 11/1, 11/10 (46m)
Mixed:  Coll / King (Nzl) 2-1  Selby / Waters (Eng) 11/8, 9/11, 11/6 (47m)
Men:  Cuskelly / Pilley (Aus) 2-0  Clyne / Lobban (Sco) 11/6, 11/3 (34m)
For photos, results and more visit the official website at: http://wsfworlddoubles.com