Five game finals at Henderson PSA Squash tournament

Monday 22 February 2021, 6:28AM
By dave worsley

A couple of dramatic finals in the Henderson Rochelle Hobbs PSA Open squash tournament in Auckland with both men’s and women’s matches going the distance.


The women’s contest featured top-100 ranked Emma Millar winning in five games over Henderson club captain and former top ten pro Shelley Kitchen, who at 41-years-old showed plenty of power and fitness as if she was ready to play in the British Open once again.


Kitchen won the first game 10-12 after an initial struggle, but then found herself well beaten by current New Zealand national champion, Millar from the Waikato, however the tables were turned in the third game with Kitchen again winning, this time 11-9.


Into the fourth the style of play became a little bit less frantic and the two players varied the pace more and Millar equalled the games.


In the fifth and final it was difficult to pick a winner as Millar, 12 years the junior of Kitchen chipped away to eventually win 12-10 in an enthralling and powerful contest.


The men’s final had Joel Arscott ranked 248 in the world in his first PSA Challenger tournament final take an early lead and look-odds on to score a victory over the much more experienced Evan Williams from Wellington.


Arscott was up two games and had a total of four match balls before Williams ranked 89th somehow edged his way back into the match on each occasion scrapping his way into the contest to fight for another point.


Going into the fourth game 1-2 down, Williams used all of his experienced to take the set 11-8 and then with renewed vigour hit the fifth game with energy as Arscott appeared zapped of energy to win the fifth and final game 11-1 for an overall score of 9-11, 10-12,16-14, 11-8, 11-1 in well over an hours play.


For the left-handed Williams, a Commonwealth Games rep at the Gold Coast games it was his seventh pro Challenger title and one of the harder fought tournaments having played a five game quarter-final win, four games in the semis and then five in the final.


The next tournament in the Barfoot & Thompson Summer Series of events in this week at Eden Epsom with two PSA Satellite events.


Men’s PSA Open finals [1] Evan Williams bt Joel Arscott 9-11, 10-12,16-14, 11-8, 11-1,

Women’s PSA Open finals [1] Emma bt Shelley Kitchen  10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10.

Men’s PSA Open Semifinal Results

[1] Evan Williams beat Lance Beddoes 11-3 8-11 1-5 11-4,

Joel Arscott beat Elijah Thomas 11-5 11-6 11-9

Women’s PSA Open Semifinal Results

[1] Emma Millar beat Lana Harrison 8-11 9-11 11-4 11-3 12-10,

Shelley Kitchen beat [2] Lauren Clarke 11-3 12-10 11-8