Scotland vs. England in Portobello women’s final

Edinburgh, Scotland, September 20, 2014.  The home nation and its southern neighbour dominated on the first day of play in Pool B of the second round in the women’s 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup to set up a Scotland vs. England final for Sunday.  They defeated Northern Ireland and Ireland, respectively, in their semifinal match-ups, after which the Northern Irish overcame their southern neighbors’ resistance to gain another shot tomorrow at qualifying for the third round.

Scotland 2, Northern Ireland 0
London 2012 superstar Shauna Mullin paired up with Edinburgh’s Anneka Hastings to defeat Northern Ireland’s Rhian McCarroll / Cait Donnelly by 2:0 (21-11, 21-6) in a clinical display of beach volleyball skills.  The Scottish pair was too fast and too strong for the opponents, who nonetheless fought hard for every point.  The following game also featured a former Olympic star.  Lynne Beattie captained Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic indoor women’s volleyball team.  Now turning her hand to the beach, she paired up with Gillian Lyall to defeat Northern Ireland’s top pair Catherine Toye / Melissa Traynor by 2:0 (21-15, 21-5).  Both Scottish teams put out strong performances on their home sand.
Anneka Hastings, player of Scotland:  “It has been an amazing day for me.  I am so proud to have been lucky enough to play with Shauna, who is an Olympic legend.  She is so inspiring and I gave it everything I had.”

England 2, Ireland 0
The first match on court 2 saw England’s Yasmin Kaashoek / Grace Lazard take on Ireland’s Miriam Gormally / Doireann Counihan.  The Irish girls fought hard in an excellent contest with many stand-out rallies, but eventually fell short, losing by 0:2 (14-21, 18-21).  England’s second pair Jessica Grimson / Victoria Palmer got off to the best possible start, winning their first set against Roisin Allen / Roisin Roantree with an astonishing 21-0 scoreline.  The second set saw the Irish players reach 12 points before they succumbed to the superior firepower of their opponents.

Ireland 1, Northern Ireland 2

It was now down to the two sides of the same island to determine who ends up fourth and finishes its participation in this tournament and who will take on the loser of the final on Sunday for a shot at a spot in the third round of the Continental Cup.  Rhian McCarroll / Cait Donnelly gave Northern Ireland the advantage after defeating Ireland’s Roisin Allen / Roisin Taieb Roantree by 2:0 (21-11, 21-17).  Miriam Gormally / Doireann Counihan levelled the score shutting out Catherine Toye / Melissa Traynor by 2:0 (21-14, 21-12) to set up a golden match.  McCarroll / Donnelly were the ones chosen to defend Northern Ireland’s colors in the decisive game, while Ireland mixed its players up a little to come out on the sand with a Miriam Gormally / Roisin Taieb Roantree lineup.  The Northerners’ formula proved more successful as their pair defeated the Southerners by 2:0 (21-14, 21-17).