Scotland’s Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier have set up a potentially explosive semi-final clash with English top seeds Chris and Gabby Adcock at the Commonwealth Games.
Blair and Bankier, the third seeds, thrilled the crowd at a packed Emirates Arena as they claimed a place in the last four of the mixed doubles with a 21-11 21-17 win over Canada’s Derrick Ng and Phyllis Chan.
That set up a date with their rivals – and former partners – the Adcocks, who also progressed with a straightforward 21-13 21-14 victory over Singapore’s Lei Yao and Chayut Triyachart.
The two pairs have plenty of history, most notably with Chris Adcock having won World Championship silver with Bankier in 2011 and then gone on to play with her at London 2012.
That Adcock-Bankier partnership had been created by Badminton England in the interests of furthering both their games, although reports at the time suggested Chris – who had enjoyed success at junior level with Gabby – had dumped his then girlfriend, now wife, for a better player.
The Adcocks, who married last year, were brought back together on court after Bankier decided to quit the Badminton England set-up – which oversees the Great Britain Olympic programme – and return to Scotland.
During the time that Bankier played with Chris Adcock, a perceived rivalry – always played down – developed between the Scot and Gabby, who hails from Leeds. There certainly appeared no love lost as the pair met in a fiery women’s doubles match on Wednesday night.
Blair believes the four players will be able to keep their emotions in check during the highly anticipated match.
“We are all experienced players now. I am sure we can all deal with the situation and have a good game,” said Blair
On the squash court, both Yorkshire’s Nick Matthew and James Willstrop made it through to the semi-finals of the men’s doubles.
Matthew, partnered by Adrian Grant, defeated Wales’s Peter Creed & David Evans, while Willstrop –playing alongside Daryl Selby, beat Lance Beddoes & Paul Coll of New Zealand.
Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf made it through to the final of the women’s doubles after partnering Laura Massaro to defeat team-mates Emma Beddoes and Alison Waters.
In the mixed doubles, Halifax’s Sarah Kippax’s hopes of a medal with Selby were ended in the quarter-finals yesterday after an 11-5 11-7 defeat to team-mates Peter Barker and Waters.