Peter Barker and Daryl Selby helped Essex sportsman bag an amazing 14 medals from the Commonwealth Games which ended in Glasgow last night.
The two squash players were part of the hugely success England squad that collectively secured nine of the 15 squash medals up for grabs, the best ever Games haul by players wearing the flag of St George.
Barker, from Hutton in Brentwood, who won a singles bronze medal last week, had his hopes of Gold dashed on Sunday when he and his mixed doubles partner Alison Waters were by beaten by Australian veterans David Palmer and Rachael Grinham.
In a thrilling final, the third seeds’ greater experience proved crucial as they ran out 11-8, 11-10 winners in 48 minutes, after saving two game balls in the second game.
Barker commented: “We were disappointed not to convert our lead in the second game. We played well throughout, but in the first game they just hit some unbelievable winners.
“We said after that that we didn’t need to change too much and that proved to be the case, because we played strong, but they just nicked it in the end and fair play.
“It was a great match and I thought we played the best we have all week, but we lost to worthy champions. It is obviously disappointing to lose, but we have to be delighted with a silver medal and our performance.”
Chelmsford’s Selby paired with James Willstrop in the men’s doubles taking bronze after a marathon battle with Scottish pair Alan Clyne and Harry Leitch. The England duo took over an hour to subdue their opponents 2-0 and there was no containing Selby’s joy at making the medal ceremony.
“It’s the biggest two weeks of my career – it’s what I wanted, a Commonwealth Games medal. This is our Olympics,” he said.
“It’s a pleasure to share it with James – we’ve both put in a lot of hard work for this. We picked ourselves up from yesterday when we were punished. It was a very tactical match. I said to James that we are both very experienced campaigners and we can handle it.
“We probably got our tactics wrong in the semi-final. We probably attacked too much and we needed to learn from that and put in a medal-winning performance.
“Both of us are very adaptable and that really worked for us. It wasn’t the prettiest squash, but when there is that much at stake, it is hard to play pretty squash. It had to be hard but it worked for us.”
Basildon gymnast Max Whitlock won an amazing five medals, including three golds. Diver Rebecca Gallantree from Chelmsford took gold in the women’s synchronised 3m springboard with partner Alicia Blagg and cyclist Alex Dowsett won the individual time pursuit to bolster the Essex haul which read Five Golds, Three Silvers and Six Bronze.
Men’s Doubles final:
 David Palmer & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt  Adrian Grant & Nick Matthew (ENG) 10-11, 11-7, 11-9 (80m)
Bronze medal play-off:
 Daryl Selby & James Willstrop (ENG) bt  Alan Clyne & Harry Leitch (SCO) 11-9, 11-7 (79m)
Mixed Doubles final:
 Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS) bt  Alison Waters & Peter Barker (ENG) 11-8, 11-10 (48m)
Bronze medal play-off:
 Kasey Brown & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt  Joelle King & Martin Knight (NZL) 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 (78m)