Rhyl squash star Tesni Evans pulled off a stunning bronze medal triumph after helping take Wales to a coveted semi-final appearance in the mixed doubles at the major World Doubles championships staged at the National Squash centre in Manchester.
Welsh champion Tesni, ranked 16th in the world, teamed up with Peter Creed to come from behind to topple Scotland’s Dougie Kempsall and Lisa Aitken 6-11 11-6 11-9 in a testing hour-long quarter-final to more than justify their number seven rating in the seedings.
This earned the Welsh outsiders a tilt at formidable England duo Daryl Selby and Alison Waters to contest a ticket into the showpiece final.
So competitive was the Creed-Evans combination that they held game ball in a gruelling first game only to be denied as the fully stretched England pair shaded it 11-10.
Finding themselves trailing 2-8 in a stuttering start to the second game, far from slumping meekly to defeat, the defiant Welsh standard-bearers produced a blistering rally to overtake their opponents as they levelled the match with a superb 11-10 riposte, despite having to save two match balls in the nerve-racking process.
The pulsating decider that followed proved to be another gripping affair as Creed and Evans again fell behind 10-5 but stubbornly refused to yield, saving another three match balls to prolong their involvement before eventually being honourably forced to yield 11-8.
The relieved England victors were generous in their praise of their valiant opponents when they stepped off court.
Said Selby: “They certainly were extremely tough competitors with lots of skill and good movement throughout, and pushed us all the way.”
Busy Tesni was also involved as Wales number 1 in the womens’ doubles event in partnership with Deon Saffrey and setting out as number seven seeds they impressively came from behind to topple Columbia’s Juan Jose Peleaz and Tiova Tikkanen seeded tenth, 7-11 11-6 11-2.
This earned them the dubious pleasure of facing top seeds and defending world champions Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy of New Zealand in the quarter-finals but pushed the favourites all the way before narrowly missing out 11-9 11-8 in just under 40 minutes of action-packed combat.
This was quite an achievement considering the winners went on to retain their crown with a 2-1 victory over England in the final.