Mystery Doc's Word
As our chief hockey writer at The Niche Cache, the Black Sticks fellas win over England pushed me over the edge. We've had a hot run of medal winner with the likes of Lauren Boyle doing what she does best in the pool as well as Sophie Pascoe, we've got weightlifters getting golds, we've got judo folk medalling ... it's bloody awesome. And then the Black Sticks put in a gritty performance against the mother land in what was an absorbing encounter to say the least. Absorbing, but given the effort and determination of the Black Sticks it was a beautiful type of absorbing.
The first half didn't offer much in terms of entertainment, but with a fair amount on the line both sides came out in the second stanza and played with a bit more freedom. Captain Dean Couzins spoke after the match about how there's a nice rivalry between the Kiwis and the English which made the match that much more interesting as the Black Sticks first goal came via an Andy Hayward stroke from a TV review. Simon Child's cracking match winning effort sealed the deal and now the Kiwis will face Malaysia in their final group match which will be an equally intriguing match up. A win will see the Kiwis move on to the semi's with a slightly easier path to the final which will likely be against the Aussies.
The best thing for me so far about the Glasgow games has been our success in the track and field events. These are the purest Olympic kind of events and to see Kiwis making their mark and getting up on that podium is something that could spark a bit of a track and field revival in New Zealand. Whether it's a youngster watching Tom Walsh and seeing that you can perhaps be a big strong child and compete at a Games, or a youngster who is inspired by the story of the Robertson twins and wants to follow in their footsteps ... either way their success should provide hope for any type of budding athlete.
I swear every morning I get up I’m hearing about some new national hero. We’re winning medals quicker than I can count them. Eh, maybe it’s just me. But we’ve already gone way past our gold totals in 2010 and 2014 (both 6), and the 11 we have right now are tied for our second best haul at a Comm Games (we had 17 in 1990 in Auckland). And there should be a few to come yet…
It’s great that the hosts are doing well too. Scotland has already beaten it’s record medal tally, which has me and my Scottish ancestry feeling mighty fine. Usually I only get to show off my Scottish heritage when I’m asked to pay for something. Or when that Proclaimers song comes on the radio. But there’s something about that whole heart’s in the highland thing that really gets to me, like a calling home, and I’m not averse to a wee dram now and then. Oh aye but I yearn for those lands ne’er seen o’er many seas untravelled…
Shout out to Richie Patterson and his beard to. Amazing moment of all or nothing, and he came through in the crucial moment. Outstanding.
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Richie Patterson – It came down to his final attempt. The kiwi weightlifter had missed his first two, and the third was all or nothing. Get it and he wins gold, miss and he’ll fail to put up a score for the second half and end up in last. He got it. Oh, and he’s getting married in Glasgow this week too. Choice.
Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze – Never heard of them before? Well you have now. They pair, both still only teenagers, went first and second in the mens mountain biking. And they did it emphatically too. Shades of Carter/Docherty in 2004, you might say.
Kiwi Decathletes – It’s not likely that either Brent Newdick or Scott McLaren were gonna win – not against the beast that is Damiam Warner – but it’s a shame to see both of them forced to pull out before the end of the event.
Silver Ferns – Yeah, they’re winning everything and it’s not even close. But the injuries are mounting up and that’s the one thing we don’t wanna see in beating the minnows. There’s a massive pool game against Jamaica coming up, and Maria Tutaia was last seen in a moon boot and crutches, and Catherine Latu is far from 100% herself. A bit of a goal shoot crisis?