Commonwealth Games 2018: Capital kid Kyle Jimenez helps Scotland beat England

The Scotland players celebrate their win over England
The Scotland players celebrate their win over England
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Kieron Achara admitted team spirit was the key as Scotland stunned England at basketball.

The Scots secured a confident 78-65 victory over their arch-rivals in their opening tie in Townsville, with City of Edinburgh Kings teenager Kyle Jimenez and former Kings player Sean Nealon-Lino both playing their part with five and four-point contributions respectively.

And 34-year-old Achara, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics but missed playing for Scotland when basketball was last at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 due to injury, insisted the Scots’ togetherness made the difference.

“We will celebrate but we still have a long way to go and our focus is ahead,” he said.

“We want to medal and we will do it together as a team. The crowd support was great and we are very thankful to our fans. Everyone loves a Scot, aye.

“It has been a long wait for this moment for me and it means so much to wear that Scotland jersey at a major Games – beating the English is pretty special too.

“It’s all about playing as a team. We are a proud nation, we played hard and we wanted it more. Our team has a belief in ourselves and it was enough to carry us through.”

Australian Rob Beveridge was only appointed as Scotland’s coach a month ago and, while the host nation should be a lock for gold, he’s starting to dream what could be.

“I want our guys to enjoy this moment, for some of the players, it’s the first time they’ve ever beaten England,” he said.

“And they’re just ecstatic about it. I want them to enjoy the moment and I want our nation at home to enjoy the moment as well.

“This is just one of the most unbelievable feelings. To be given the opportunity to coach just a tremendous group of men. The team chemistry’s outstanding. To play England and beat England in game one is one of the proudest moments in my coaching career.

“I thought we were a little bit shy to start. But once we settled in and handled the pressure and took care of the ball, we were very, very good. The way we handled the pressure and stuck together was just absolutely awesome.”

Gareth Murray, who shared the most court time with Achara, was the top scorer with 18 points and was also brimming with confidence ahead of forthcoming group matches with Cameroon and India.

“We came in with a lot of self-belief, we’ve been playing with each other for a few years,” he said.

“We know each others’ game inside out. We played to our game plan and in our minds we executed that game plan.”

“We’re going to try to top the group and move on to the medal games. Nothing changes.”

Elsewhere, Lothians bowlers Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver combined with Darren Burnett as Scotland’s men’s triples to beat the Cook Islands 27-11 in their opening match.

Tranent’s Alex Marshall teamed up with Paul Foster to win their opening two Pairs matches, beating Samoa 37-6 and Niue 14-11.

Midlothian’s Stacey McDougall enjoyed two wins as part of the ladies fours, the Scots seeing off Niue 44-1 and Canada 21-7.

Capital badminton players Martin Campbell and Julie McPherson were also in action, helping Scotland to a commanding win over Pakistan in their opening match in the team event.

Kevin Moran brushed aside Jules Snagg, of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to win his first-round men’s squash singles match in just 27 minutes while Alan Clyne beat Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam and Greg Lobban was a confident winner over Sri Lanka’s Ravindu Laksiri.

Lisa Aitken, the No.14 seed, withdrew from her singles clash after picking up an injury in training and Alison Thomson lost 3-1 in her match with Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam.