Chileshe takes the fourth PSL title
Dave Worsley reports
After four weeks of tough grinding competition it was success for teenage pro Temwa Chileshe in the Premier Squash 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 better on the PSA ranking.
The first game was won by Arscott 11-7, while Chileshe struggled but won the second 11-9. It was only the third where Chileshe looked out of the match on the scoreboard as Arscott scored an 11-2 win. Into the fourth Chileshe cut 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 solid play. It was only at match point at 10-2 that Arscott was able to collect three points to start putting some real pressure on his opponent.
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 world ranking points around the world 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 and 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 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 game triumph over Remuera’s Michael Shelton Agar.
Top two set up week four showdown
Dave Worsley reports
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 a final match and rivalry which started 24 hours after New Zealand went to 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 for 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 the human Pinball, Jack Conder in straight games in the other match in 25 minutes.
The final day of the league is Sunday 7 June at the SquashXL club in Auckland from 3pm with live streaming on the PSA youtube channel.
Week four under way at Squash XL
Dave Worsley reports
The start of the final weekend of the Premier Squash League left no doubt that even in a round robin format that players were there to win and weren’t leaving anyone wondering about their efforts.
Split into two divisions, effectively a bottom four, top four pool the matches started with Glenn Templeton playing soundly to account for 15-year-old Apa Fatialofa, the young brother of Leo in straight game.
Apa showing plenty of good touch and holding skills with the ball and racquet, but not quite experienced enough in the rally to counter his older international ranked opponent.
Michael Shelton Agar and Jack Conder then played out a lengthy five game contest where neither player looked assured of victory until the last point with the oldest player in the field, Shelton Agar coming through in the end.
In the Premiership Division it was Joel Arscott the winner of week two of the competition scoring a win over his then finals opponent, Elijah Thomas. On this occasion it was a four game match, but still took close to 50 minutes.
Thomas won the first game with relative ease, however scores were then turned around quickly in the next two games. Into the fourth the play became intense with each having similar styles. With the scores at 10-10 it was called ‘long’ to win by three by Thomas, but Arscott was able to take the set and the match 13-10.
In the final match between the two shot makers of Temwa Chileshe a winner of week 1 and week 3 of the series and Leo Fatialofa it was always going to be entertaining.
The contest lived up to expectations with winners a random and a closeness that bellied the straight game score. Chileshe with a world ranking of 337 finishing the winner 11-6, 13-10, 11-8.