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Spendolini-Sirieix eyes second gold while netball and cricket stars chase finals

England will be seeking to add to their medal haul on Saturday at the Commonwealth Games.

England goal shooter Eleanor Cradwell in action against Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games
England goal shooter Eleanor Cradwell in action against Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games

England netball prepare to face Australia in a mouth-watering netball semi-final while Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix will be watched by famous dad Fred as she dives for her second gold of the Games.

Here, the PA news agency looks ahead to Saturday’s major showdowns and reflects on Friday’s action as we enter the final weekend of competition.

Netball rematch

England’s Helen Housby celebrates scoring the winning goal against Australia in the 2018 Commonwealth final
England’s Helen Housby celebrates scoring the winning goal against Australia in the 2018 Commonwealth final (Martin Rickett/PA)

England and Australia go head to head in their netball semi-final after the hosts thumped world champions New Zealand by 10 points to earn their place in the last four.

Australia limped through to the knockout stages after a shock defeat to Jamaica, but England coach Jess Thirlby is all too aware that the Australians – still smarting from their last-gasp loss on the Gold Coast – will be licking their wounds.

Tough test

Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur and India stand in England’s way (Steven Paston/PA)

England’s cricketers made an emphatic statement by trouncing New Zealand on Friday, chasing down a paltry 72 with 50 balls to spare in a seven-wicket win to finish atop their group. They have now won six successive T20s and confidence is steadily building but Harmanpreet Kaur’s India are likely to present a step up in opposition.

A final against Australia or New Zealand awaits the winners, with the losers having the consolation of going into the bronze medal match.

Ace Andrea

Fresh from her victory in the women’s 10-metre platform final – watched by her TV star father Fred – teenager Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix gets the chance to extend her dream Games debut in the women’s 10m sychro platform final on Saturday.

The 17-year-old delivered a first senior international victory on Thursday evening at Sandwell Aquatics Centre, finishing ahead of England’s team-mate Lois Toulson to top the leaderboard by a huge 20.20 points.

Social media moment

Canada made England work hard for every point on the badminton court.

Pic of the day

Marfa Ekimova competes in the ribbon section of the rhythmic gymnastics all-around final
Marfa Ekimova on her way to all-around gold (Peter Byrne/PA)

Friday favourites

More from Muir

Laura Muir is eyeing an elusive Commonwealth medal after reaching her second final. The Scot finished fifth in her 1500m heat on Friday morning to reach Sunday’s final at the Alexander Stadium, running four minutes 14.11 seconds, having already reached Saturday’s 800m final.

Great Scot

Scotland’s George Miller became the oldest gold medallist in Commonwealth Games history after winning the para-bowls mixed pairs final at the age of 75.

Miller, who is lead director for partially-sighted team-mate Melanie Inness, succeeds his para-bowls team-mate, 72-year-old Rosemary Lenton, who briefly held the record after winning the women’s pairs title on Wednesday.

Magic Marfa

Marfa Ekimova, centre, celebrates with her gold medal
Marfa Ekimova, centre, celebrates with her gold medal (Peter Byrne/PA)

Fresh from helping the England team win their first rhythmic gymnastics medal since 2010 on Thursday, 17-year-old Marfa Ekimova produced a stunning set of performances to clinch the gold medal in the individual all-around event.

Ekimova, who was born in St Petersburg and moved to the UK at the age of two, produced superb routines on the four apparatus – hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon – to score 112.300 and edge Anna Sokolova of Cyprus into second place.

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