SCOTS WIN AULD ENEMY SCRAP

Scotland captain Kieron Achara claimed heart won the day after inflicting a 75-63 loss on England in their Commonwealth Games opener in Townsville.

The massively-influential Gareth Murray hit a game-high 18 points but it was Aussie-raised centre Mike Vigor who came up big by scoring seven of his 14 in a decisive 10-1 run that tore the English to shreds in a sensational fourth quarter display.

And it gives the Scots, who now face Cameroon on Saturday, a huge opportunity to reach the next round.

“We just wanted it more,” said Achara. “That belief just carried us through. Our team played together. Guys really stepped up when we needed it. But that’s just the starting point. There’s still a lot of the tournament to go. Our goal is to try and medal. And our game plan is to win every game.”

England paid for being way short of what would be their full-strength line-up with their Pool B rivals as close to first-choice as any team in this competition.

However there were regular echoes of Glasgow Rocks playbook and the chemistry it brings with England often relying on jump shooting and scraps rather than cohesive team play as they sought an upset which never came.

Andreas Kapoulas’ side, who were paced by 17 points from Shane Walker, now have a must-win tie with India on Saturday.

“The better team won,” said the England coach. “We did not play at a level required to wn the game. Scotland had great defence and played well together as a team.”

Meanwhile England’s women open up against Canada on Friday.

 

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