Commonwealth Games: Smith into two semi-finals but Housby left to fight for bronze

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Helen Housby and England's netballers lost to Australia, left, while Lauren Smith, right, progressed to two badminton semi-finals (photos: PA)
Helen Housby and England's netballers lost to Australia, left, while Lauren Smith, right, progressed to two badminton semi-finals (photos: PA)

Lauren Smith's gold medal hunt at the Commonwealth Games remains on track - but Helen Housby's bid for another title is over.

Cumbrian badminton star Smith surged into the semi-finals in both the mixed and women's doubles on Saturday.

But Housby and England fell to defeat against Australia in the netball semi-finals.

Smith, from Longtown, first teamed up with Marcus Ellis to see off Sri Lanka's Sachin Dias and Thilini Hendahewa in the last eight of the mixed badminton event.

They will take on Scotland’s Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson in the semi-finals on Sunday.

And later Smith and women's doubles partner Chloe Birch enjoyed a convincing quarter-final won over Husina Kobugabe and Mohamed Rafi of Uganda.

Longtown star Smith, speaking after the mixed doubles win, said: "We started the first game really well but they fought hard. They had a few net cords here and there, got themselves a bit more rhythm and confidence, but the way we responded was really good.

READ MORE: Cumbrian athlete wins gold at Commonwealth Games

“We weren’t on our a-game at all but the way we dug in, we were three or four points down in that second set, we showed our character to put pressure on them at the end.

“We’re not looking at the final yet. We have a tough semi tomorrow, so we’re just taking it one at a time and making sure even if we don’t perform our best, we fight our hardest.”

In netball, meanwhile, there will be no repeat of 2018's glory for Drumleaning's Housby and England.

Australia got revenge for their dramatic defeat four years ago.

They beat England 60-51, leaving the host nation facing a bronze medal shootout against New Zealand on Sunday.

Coach Jess Thirlby said: “It is a disappointment for now, but we can’t sulk.

"We’ve got to get our head and shoulders back. Up until now we’ve performed really well and grown into the tournament so it’s a blip at a really bad time. Tomorrow needs to be a better performance.”

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