Massaro and Duncalf come out on top when it matters the most

Laura Massaro in doubles action

Laura Massaro in doubles action

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Keep your friends close and your enemies closer should be Laura Massaro’s motto after she and Jenny Duncalf pulled the rug out from under their team-mates to seal a spot in Saturday’s gold-medal match.

In practicing for the women’s doubles event at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Massaro and Duncalf have spent the majority of the summer with England teammates Emma Beddoes and Alison Waters.

So when the draw paired them up in Friday’s semi-final at Scotstoun there was little the two did not know about each other’s game.

Indeed in practice Massaro and Duncalf have struggled to get a set off their lower-ranked team-mates and it took a shift of tactics and mindset to make all the difference according to Massaro.

“We have not been doing that well against them in practice and we thought that they might feel there was a bit of pressure on them because we literally haven’t beaten them,” said the 30-year-old.

“Even though we are the No.1 seeds we didn’t feel like favourites and we went out to do our best, changed a few things up and I think it caught them by surprise.

“And I do think that they didn’t seem as free as us at the end and that comes from a lot of self expectation.”

In today’s final, Massaro and Duncalf will face Indian pairing Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa.

They edged past Australian duo Kasey Brown and 37-year-old veteran Rachael Grinham by two sets to one.

Pallikal and Chinappa took a tight first set 11-9, but the Aussie pairing squared the match up at one set all by taking the second set 11-7.

However, in the final set, the Indians ran away with the match as the Aussies began to tire. Pallikal and Chinappa sealed their place in the gold medal match by winning the third 11-4

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.