David Palmer squash double caps a golden day for Australia

Glasgow: It had been a long wait for David Palmer but competing in his fourth Commonwealth Games, the former world No.1 finally had his gold medal. Then he had two.

Palmer teamed with another former world No.1 Rachael Grinham to win the mixed doubles and was back on court 15 minutes later to join Cameron Pilley for the men's doubles. The pair came from one game down to beat English duo Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant.

Palmer, who played his first Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, had previously won two silvers and four bronze medals and came out of retirement last year to have a final shot at the title that had eluded him.

"It's one of the reasons why I did come back ... it's a dream come true," the 38-year-old said. "Everything I've ever wanted has come true now.

"There's been a lot of hard work these last 12 months getting ready and it's great to finally achieve the gold medal that I was missing. I'm done now; I think that's it now – I can retire a happy man.

"I just tried to focus and kept thinking why I wanted to be here. With all the critics back in Australia doubting why I should be here, hopefully I've put them to bed now and proved why I was here, which was obviously my personal achievement of winning the gold, but also to help squash in Australia in the future by winning medals."

He said the gold would help the team maintain its funding so it could prepare well for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Palmer and Grinham beat England's Peter Barker and Alison Waters 11-8, 11-10. The match was decided on a show of sportsmanship by Barker who called a double bounce on himself on match point.

Grinham said she was impressed by Barker's honesty.

"It obviously was very close and I was questioning it, but I couldn't be 100 per cent sure it was a double bounce," Grinham said.

"That was really good of him to call that. At 10-all he gave it up so it was really good of him to do that. It could have changed everything."

Barker said he would not consider doing anything else.

"That's me all over, a bloody nice guy," he joked.

"When you know it's a double, it's a double and there's enough respect out there between all the players. They're two ex-world No.1s in our era so I'm not going to start picking up doubles.

"It was  great match. I thought we played the best we played all week and we lost to worthy champions."

It was a tougher struggle against top seeds in the doubles, with Palmer and Pilley winning 10-11, 11-7, 11-9. The third game in particular was a tussle with control swaying between the teams before a Pilley put away the winner.

"It was an unbelievably tough match," said Pilley, who also played earlier in the day to claim the mixed doubles bronze with Kasey Brown.

"Dave was feeling it towards the end. I was feeling it in the arm. It was very sore but when you're on there and you've got the gold medal up for grabs you don't think about that.

"For Dave to back up straight away – 15 minutes' rest and then straight back on – it's such a big effort from him."

Matthew said the Australians showed their cunning, with Pilley preventing him from making the final shot with a well-timed bump.

"He managed to nudge me out of the way on that last one which is a bit annoying because I thought I could get it if he didn't give me that nudge but that's how it goes," Matthew said.

"(Palmer) was crafty with the rules. He got his 10 to 15 mins when we were waiting to go. He used that experience and credit to him.

"He came out and was maybe a bit stiff early on and we exposed him a couple of times. We could feel him getting tired but his skill level was fantastic and with his experience he had the full package, so full credit to him."

For Pilley's part, he was happy to acknowledge the part he played in the final point.

"Yeah, for sure," Pilley said.

"Once you're on there, it's fair game. We shook hands and he said 'you bastard' and I said, 'You would have done the same thing' and he said 'yeah, I know'.

"It's all part of the game. There were nudges all the way through and it just happened that I gave him a good nudge on match point."

The golds made Australia, which had been rocked on the eve of the competition by two selection controversies, the most successful team in Glasgow, with England, India and Malaysia winning the other golds.

The story David Palmer squash double caps a golden day for Australia first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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