Crucial miss costs Natalie Rooney a medal

MATT RICHENS IN CARNOUSTIE
Last updated 10:49 29/07/2014

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So close yet so far.

As she did in Delhi four years ago, Timaru's Natalie Rooney flirted with the podium, but a crucial miss cost her a Commonwealth Games medal.

She was agonisingly close and finished fourth in the women's trap today, losing the bronze medal match in a shoot-off.

Having qualified for the semifinal, the 26-year-old had a chance to move into the bronze-medal match with the last regulation shot.

But she missed a relatively easy shot and went into a shootout with Australian Catherine Skinner and Northern Ireland's Kirsty Barr.

Rooney fought off the disappointment of the earlier miss and landed three shots in a row to beat Skinner and Barr.

That matched her against England's Caroline Povey and the Kiwi went ahead early in the 15-shot match.

But Povey fought back well and the pair tied at 12-12.

Both made tough shots to open the shoot-off, but Rooney couldn't hit on the second and Povey won the medal.

"I blew it really," Rooney said.

"I got fifth in Delhi and I was really hoping for a medal here, but it just didn't happen. I just wasn't quite there.

"I shot pretty well today, but just didn't quite have it there at the end."

Rooney shot after Barr throughout the semifinal and that came with a number of distractions.

Barr missed six of her first seven shots and each blank was met with the loud buzzer indicating the miss.

Then when she did start hitting - she hit the next eight in a row to reach the playoff - the crowd screamed it's support.

With each success, Barr's popularity rose as did the cheering.

And Rooney had to go after it each time.

"That was pretty tough because it was really loud, but I did my best to block it all out.

"Then when I missed that last one, the one that would have got me straight to the bronze match, that was so frustrating. It got me really angry."

Rooney said though it was frustrating to miss out on a medal again, she felt her shooting was improving and she was confident of a good showing at the world champs in Spain in a month.

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