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PSA: Gaskin makes Galways semis

Arthur Gaskin is in such hot form that Peter Nicol can't bear to look!

Gaskin Grabs Galway Semi Slot

7 April 2012

RESULTS: PSA International 10 Paddy ‘Whack’ West of Ireland Open, Galway, Ireland

[1] Joe Lee (ENG) bt Dylan Bennett (NED) 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6
[3] Rasmus Nielsen (DEN) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 13-11, 11-4, 11-8
[Q] Arthur Gaskin (IRL) bt [4] Steven Finitsis (AUS) 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 18-16, 11-7 (110m)
[2] Mark Krajcsak (HUN) bt [Q] Mark Fuller (ENG) 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6 (65m)

Irish qualifier Arthur Gaskin survived a marathon encounter in the quarter-finals of the Paddy ‘Whack’ West of Ireland Open to earn a popular place in the last four of the PSA World Tour International 10 squash event in its sixth year at Galway Lawn Tennis Club in Galway.

The Dublin-born 27-year-old, who became Irish champion for the first time last year, took on seasoned Australian Steven Finitsis, the fourth seed.

Finitsis, ranked almost 150 places higher than the local hero, took the opening two games and looked on course to secure his anticipated place in the semi-finals.

But Gaskin reduced the deficit by taking the third game, then survived five match balls in the fourth to draw level.

Spurred on by the ecstatic crowd, Gaskin took two points from seven-all in the decider to be within sight of victory.

“But Finitsis got a cramp during the following rally which gave Gaskin a 10-7 lead and that’s all he needed to finish the remarkable comeback and advance to the semi-finals,” said tournament organiser Edwin Brennan.

“It was an unfitting end to what was otherwise a brilliant match. The rallies, the pace and the shots were incredible and the crowd were amazed by both players’ skill and stamina. After 110 minutes Gaskin emerged a delighted winner.”

Gaskin was overjoyed with his 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 18-16, 11-7 win: “It was a tough game. Even when I lost the first two I didn’t think I played that badly, I made a few too many errors. I tried to up my game in the third and not make any mistakes and then in the fourth it was nip and tuck.

“He was 9-4 up so I just relaxed and made it as tough as possible for him and managed to hold out. In the fifth it was anyone’s but I had a bit more gas in the tank and got through.

“Really happy and thanks to my coach – Hadrian Stiff – for help me with my game plan for today and I stuck to it.”

Gaskin now faces second seed Mark Krajcsak after the Hungarian beat English qualifier Mark Fuller 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6.

Top seed Joe Lee will face Dane Rasmus Nielsen in the other semi. Englishman Lee beat fellow countryman Ben Ford 13-11, 11-4, 11-8, while third seed Nielsen defeated Dutchman Dylan Bennett 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Joe Lee (ENG) v [3] Rasmus Nielsen (DEN)
[2] Mark Krajcsak (HUN) v [Q] Arthur Gaskin (IRL)

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