—-Chelsea Edghill stars in monumental encounter
Amidst deafening noise, thunderous applause with the blue and white of the Saint Andrew’s Cross being waved prominently; on the morning of Friday 25th July at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Chelsea Edghill became her country’s heroine.
The 17-year-old, who recently attended the Road to Nanjing Training Camp in Shanghai under the tutelage of such illustrious names as Jörgen Persson and Wang Liqin, maintained her focus and eventually screamed in delight as secured victory in the final games of the fifth match of the contest against Scotland.
One day earlier both Guyana and Scotland had suffered defeat against Australia, the second seeds.
After three hours, the verdict finished in favour the visitors.
Trenace Lowe gave Guyana the ideal start by beating Corinna Whittaker (11-1, 11-8, 11-7); Natalie Cummings doubled the advantage by overcoming Gillian Edwards (7-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7), before urged forward by a virtual capacity crowd, the host nation mounted a recovery.
Linda Flaws combined with Corinna Whitaker to win the doubles against Edghill and Lowe (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).
Saved Match Points
However, it seemed the recovery was to be short-lived; in the next match Linda Flaws trailed Natalie Cummings by two games to one and she was down 8-10 in the fourth.
She faced two match points; incredibly she won four in row and duly secured the fifth game (11-5, 9-11, 1-11, 12-10, 11-8) to level the overall score in the fixture.
“I feel like the adrenaline is still flowing from that match; the support was absolutely amazing”, said Linda Flaws. “The noise when I saved those match points was incredible; you could hear the crowd shouting between points.”
Success for Flaws had seemingly swung the momentum in favour of Scotland.
In the vital concluding match of the fixture Gillian Edwards established a two games to one lead against Edghill. It seemed a quite staggering recovery was scheduled.
Edghill had other ideas. She won the fourth game, a decisive fifth game beckoned. The crucial stage of that vital game came at 7-all when Gillian Edwards elected for “Time Out”.
The players returned to the arena, both played with the utmost caution, neither prepared to take a risk; eventually, the marginally more consistent Latin American prevailed.
She recovered from a two games to one deficit to secure success (12-10, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7). Scottish aspirations were doused.
“I’ve been injured, so playing in the final match was a lot of pressure”, said Edghill.
“Every Scottish player is good so you must work for every point; the doctor hasn’t yet given a diagnosis but he said my shoulder blade is moving and the muscles around are weak; the ligaments are a bit stretched.”
Nevertheless, Edghill emerged successful and with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games ahead certainly needs to be fully fit.
Linda Flaws Philosophical
Defeat for Scotland and spare a thought for Linda Flaws who had remained unbeaten and had very much sparked the recovery.
“We didn’t know too much about them”, she said. “I was surprised by how attacking they were in their play.”
Maybe Linda Flaws did not know a great deal about the trio from Guyana but she does now and she will never forget the contest.
“It was still a good experience”, she concluded. “Being able to fight back from two match points down proves something, even if we didn’t win.”
The same philosophy applies to Edghill, in the intense heat of the Scotstoun Sports Campus and the intense heat of the battle, she responded; Guyana had a place in the main draw. (Reprinted from ITTF website)