‘After-lockdown’ sport continues in New Zealand with week two of the Unsquashable Premier Squash League in Auckland.
Featuring the majority of the best young New Zealand domestic male squash players, the tournament held at the SquashXL Club in Avondale continues this evening (Friday) from 6pm and over the weekend 3-around 6pm each day.
The eight-player league will again be broadcast on PSA Squash TV YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/psasquashtv). In week one there were over 33,000 views via this channel.
The first week was won by Temwa Chileshe, 19 who accounted for friend and practice partner, Joel Arscott in the final.
Chileshe ranked at 337 in the world beat his opponent at 102 places higher on the PSA standings in four game. He had started the tournament slowly and built his form after eight weeks away from tournament play.
Other players with world rankings in week two include 17-year-old Elijah Thomas who was a finalist at the Henderson Open PSA tournament in February at 257 in the world. While Glenn Templeton from the Bay of Plenty who is the current New Zealand junior champion is 357 in senior rankings and 17-year-old Leo Fatialofa from the Henderson Squash Club is also a top 400 ranked player.
Templeton and Fatialofa will be a key first round clash in the second week of the four-tournament league.
There are three more players competing in the form of 17-year-old, energetic Jack Conder from the Titirangi Squash Club and the oldest competitor in Michael Shelton-Agar, 21 from the Remuera Club.
Anthony Lepper is out injured and replaced by 15-year-old rising junior Mason Smales from Henderson Squash Club who already has a PSA ranking of 593.
Although there are no PSA ranking points on offer, there is prizemoney and for the competitors involved it’s about playing time and getting ready for when international tournaments are staged again.
The SquashXL venue features New Zealand’s only permanent glass court and will have an official PSA accredited umpire as well as live scoring.
The UPL will maintain all government required health and safety rules, including maximum gathering, spacing, hygiene and tracking.
First round matches will be played from 6pm on Friday 22 May, with Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 set for 3-6pm schedule.