England beaten by Malaysia in semi-final

England will compete for Commonwealth Games bronze in the mixed team event after suffering a 3-0 loss against Team Malaysia in Monday’s semi-final at the National Exhibition Centre.

The semi-final got off to a promising start at the NEC as Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith took the first game against Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See 21-12 but the Malaysians hit back to take the next two 21-18, 21-13.

Smith said: “We’re definitely disappointed. I think we had our chances in that game, we started exceptionally well, we executed our game plan and put a lot of pressure on them.

“Unfortunately, in the second game, it was a tougher end to play on. We just didn’t execute a few serves and basic things.

“We became a little bit hesitant and a bit desperate in our shots instead of just playing the rallies out, and that cost us in the end, which is frustrating.”

The focus then switched to Toby Penty, who lost out 21-13, 21-14 against fifth seed Ng Tze Yong.

Ng was in superb form and his devastating combination of powerful smashes and delicate drop shots proved too good on the day.

“I know the scores were quite similar but I actually think I played a lot better in the second set,” Penty said.

“It is a game of momentum and although I’d be good for one or two points, he was better for three, four, five points in a row and I think that was the big difference today.

“We both played some good rallies but it was my poor ones at important times which changed the dynamic of the match.”

Penty’s defeat meant that Sean Vendy and Ben Lane needed to win their men’s doubles rubber to give England any chance of progressing to the final, but they were narrowly beaten 21-17, 21-18 by top seeds and Olympic bronze medallists Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the men’s doubles.

That result sealed Malaysia’s progression to the gold medal match while England will take on either Singapore or India for the right to earn a medal in front of a passionate home crowd.

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