Chileshe bids for third XL title
By DAVE WORSLEY – Squash Mad Correspondent in Auckland
The two top players have emerged to a final showdown in the Squash Premier League in Auckland.
After four weeks of tournament play, Joel Arscott and Temwa Chileshe will meet in the final match to maintain a keen rivalry which started 24 hours after New Zealand went in Level 2 from the coronavirus lockdown at which sport was able to be played again.
Throughout the four weeks of competition, Chileshe has won two of the titles and Arscott the other.
They both had tough contests on the penultimate day with Arscott struggling against the shot-making of Leo Fatialofa and Chileshe having a 50-minute, four game clash with Elijah Thomas.
Arscott dropped the first game against 17-year-old Fatialofa 2-11 as his opponent staged a traditionally strong start. In the second, Fatialofa was quick to gain a handy lead but let two game points slide and then at 10-10 chose to play short (or next point wins) which he duly lost.
They then traded the next two games before Arscott, ranked at 235 in the world, played a couple of solid points at the right time to win the decider 11-8.
For Chileshe, 19, who won his first PSA Satellite title earlier in the year, the contest against Thomas was always going to be close. However, the first game was quicker than expected at 11-5. Seventeen-year-old Thomas, ranked 257, fought back to take the second 11-9 before Chileshe won the third 11-5.
In the fourth it was point-for-point with some close decisions questioned including at 10-10 when Chileshe asked for ‘short’ and won on a disputed point.
In the early games, 15-year-old Apa Fatialofa and Michael Shelton Agar played out an entertaining five-game thriller, ending in a 39-minute win 13-10 in the final game.
Glenn Templeton played a stable and efficient match to defeat Human Pinball Jack Conder in straight games in the other match in 25 minutes.
The final day of the league is tomorrow (Sunday June 7) at the SquashXL club in Auckland from 3pm local time with live streaming on the PSA YouTube channel.
Unsquashable Premier League Series, XL Squash Club, Auckland, New Zealand.
Week Four Semi-Finals:
Joel Arscott bt Leo Fatialofa 2-11, 11-10, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8.
Temwa Chileshe bt Elijah Thomas 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-10.
Apa Fatialofa bt Michael Shelton Agar 7-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4, 13-10.
Glenn Templeton bt Jack Conder 11-2, 11-9, 11-3.
Pictures courtesy of Dave Worsley and XL Squash