Top seed Joel Arscott reaches second final
By DAVE WORSLEY – Squash Mad Correspondent in Auckland, New Zealand
Elijah Thomas stole the show in the semi-finals of week two of the Squash Premier League in Auckland with an intense four game victory over the previous tournament’s winner, Temwa Chileshe.
The 17-year-old Thomas from the Eden Epsom Club who has a world ranking of 257 in the world put in a solid performance, sticking to a game plan against Chileshe, who is two years his senior, but 120 places lower on the world rankings.
Thomas raced out to an 11-7 first game win with some well executed shots before Chileshe battled back to gain the second.
At this point there was no real dominance by either player. However, Thomas was fired up throughout and piled on the pressure to take the third and fourth games 11-7, 11-8 for the win in a total time of 42 minutes.
“I was pleased because I’d never beaten Tem before. He’s obviously a strong player who makes you fight for every point. I like playing down my backhand. It’s a good shot for me, he’s so good on his forehand, so my plan was to was keep it away from there,” said Thomas, who now faces Joel Arscott in the final. “He’s definitely a strong player as well; it will be a battle.”
Arscott, 20 with a world ranking of 235, was efficient against Leo Fatialofa, who had plenty of flair but not the control when required.
The top ranked player was able to set up the points well against the shot making of Fatialofa and eventually compile a win in straight games 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.
In earlier matches New Zealand national junior champ, Glenn Templeton beat 15-year-old Mason Smales 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 in 20 minutes. Smales showing improvement on his previous match and great ability to hold the ball late on his racquet.
Remuera club player Michael Shelton-Agar staged a comprehensive comeback against 17-year-old Jack Conder to win in five games after dropping the first two sets. The energy appeared to leave Conder, while Shelton-Agar looked sharp in the final three games of the 38 minute contest.
The final and playoffs of the Unsquashable Premier League continue from 3pm Sunday May 24 at the SquashXL Club in Auckland with live vision on the PSA YouTube channel.
Unsquashable Premier League, Squash XL Club, Auckland, New Zealand.
Joel Arscott bt Leo Fatialofa 11-9, 11-5, 11-7,
Elijah Thomas bt Temwa Chileshe 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8.
Glenn Templeton bt Mason Smales 11-8, 11-6, 11-8,
Michael Shelton-Agar bt Jack Conder 9-11, 10-13, 11-1, 11-6, 11-5.
Pictures courtesy of DAVE WORSLEY