Thursday, September 21, 2023

Temwa Chileshe’s hat-trick triumph in Unsquashable Series

Temwa Chileshe wins again at the XL Club

Teen Temwa hits back to win in five against training partner Joel
By DAVE WORSLEY – Squash Mad Correspondent

After four weeks of tough, grinding competition it was a third success success for teenage pro Temwa Chileshe in New Zealand’s Unsquashable Premier League as he staged a hard-fought comeback to defeat training partner and fellow pro, Joel Arscott, in five games in the final.

The intense contest saw a comeback by Chileshe, who had looked out of sorts and off in his timing even after he won the second game, but he was soon down two games to one including a 2-11 scoreline against him in the third.

“I was nervous, really nervous I had to play really well and worked really hard. That first game was probably the best I’d seen Joel play. I actually didn’t play bad in that third game, he just played well. I just had to keep playing high level squash and I’d have a chance of coming back,” said Chileshe.

Ranked 337 in the world, the 19-year-old showed mental strength to hold on for the victory over Arscott, who is just under a year his senior and is 102 places higher on the PSA rankings.

The first game was won by Arscott 11-7, while Chileshe struggled to make an impact, but he recovered to win the second 11-9. It was only the third where Chileshe looked out of the match on the scoreboard as Arscott powered through to an 11-2 win.

Into the fourth, Chileshe reduced his errors and worked his way back in to the match as Arscott appeared to feel the pressure.

Chileshe won the fourth 11-5 and then raced out to a 6-0 lead in the fifth with some solid, disciplined play. It was only at match point at 10-2 that Arscott was able to collect three points to start putting some real pressure back on his opponent.

However, Chileshe then took the match on a disputed call to win the game 11-5 and complete victory in 53 minutes overall.

Prior to lockdown Chileshe had won his first PSA Satellite title with success at the Eden Epsom Open as he and Arscott looked to push their professional claims.

However, with no tournaments containing PSA ranking points around the world right now, they are now resigned to only playing local tournaments such as the Northland Open next weekend in Whangarei.

“We’re really hoping for the Australian Open 10k tournament in late August to be on and to have a PSA tournament to play in. We’ve got to try and keep track and try to keep playing, just like a normal squash pro really.”

In the earlier matches, Elijah Thomas (ranked 257 in the world) scored a straight game win over Leo Fatialofa for third place in a match which was a battle of two talented 17-year-olds.

In the Championship division Jack Conder kept his head to beat 15-year-old Apa Fatialofa in four games while Glenn Templeton, from the Bay of Plenty, continued his late run of good form with a straight-games triumph over Remuera’s Michael Shelton Agar.
Unsquashable Premier League Series, XL Squash Club, Auckland, New Zealand.

Week Four results:
Main Final:
Temwa Chileshe bt Joel Arscott 7-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-5. 11-5.
Third place play-off:
Elijah Thomas bt Leo Fatialofa 13-11, 11-4, 11-3.
Championship Division:
Jack Conder bt Apa Fatialofa 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3.
Glenn Templeton bt Michael Shelton Agar 11-2, 11-7, 11-5.

Picture by Dave Worsley


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