Gold is within Josh’s reach

April 11, 2018

Josh Thornton will ride the wave of Aussie support at Broadbeach today in hopes of qualifying for tomorrow’s Commonwealth Games gold medal match. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Josh Thornton is within touching distance of a Commonwealth Games medal.

The East Shepparton coach and his bowlers with a disability open triples teammates Tony Bonnell and Ken Hanson have been in top form on the Gold Coast this week.

The trio qualified for this afternoon’s semi-final in first position after various strong performances across the Broadbeach Bowling Club greens, and will play fourth-ranked South Africa from 4pm for a spot in the gold medal match.

Perhaps the most impressive showing from Thornton’s trio came in its final group stage match on Monday night.

Thornton led magnificently throughout the 16-11 victory over New Zealand in what was widely tipped as a precursor to the eventual big dance.

‘‘We had a good victory against our biggest rivals in New Zealand, and to have a good victory leading into the finals is pleasing,’’ Thornton told Bowls Australia after the clash.

‘‘So now we wait for (tomorrow) for the semi-finals.

‘‘We’ve always felt that as a team, if we go out and perform at our best we’re going to give it a good shake.

‘‘All three of us played well (on Monday), and I think that’s a big thing.

‘‘If we play at our best, we’re going to be tough to beat ourselves; if we go out and play well, hopefully the result will look after itself.’’

Earlier in the tournament, Thornton’s team defeated Scotland 18-6, South Africa 13-10 and Wales 22-12, with its only loss a 12-16 result against England.

New Zealand takes on England in the other semi-final today, with the two victors to do battle for gold from 12.30pm tomorrow.

‘‘I think all teams that make the semi-final stages are going to be tough to beat,’’ Thornton said.

‘‘But at the same time I think we’re going to be confident enough to know that if we play well we should do well.’’

Meanwhile, Mooroopna export Fiona Fowler (nee Themann) and her Scottish Thistles suffered a heartbreaking loss yesterday to effectively end their hopes of progressing to the netball semi-finals.

When the final whistle blew after a see-sawing affair it was Malawi which held the ascendancy over Scotland by one goal.

When coupled with earlier losses to New Zealand (29-60) and England (28-74) it means Fowler’s Thistles would need close to a miracle to advance out of Pool B after today’s clash against Uganda.

Scotland found some solace in its second game with a 51-47 triumph over Wales though, and will look to finish the tournament on a high by getting the better of Uganda from 4pm.

Fellow Goulburn Valley export Bruce Quick’s seventh appearance at the Games will begin and end today.

Quick — who spent two decades living in Shepparton — will take on the rest of the field in the 50m pistol event this morning, and will be aiming to make qualification into this afternoon’s final.

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