Peter Creed celebrates his win for Wales against Scotland.

Wales Gatecrash World Team Squash Championship Semi-Finals Party And Take On Favourites Egypt

Wales have gatecrashed the World Team Championship semi-finals In Washington, USA.

They have joined Egypt, England and France in the semi-finals at Squash On Fire, the new state-of-the-art eight-court facility in the US capital.

Wales, the 11th seeds for the competition, now play top ranked Egypt in the semis.

“We’re playing Egypt now, the number one seeds,” said Wales coach David Evans. “Germany took them close in their quarter-final – and with only three players in the team, anything is possible.

“Joel, our number one, is capable of beating anyone in the world at the moment. I know our boys will give it everything.”

Egypt, though, have a team which includes three players ranked in the World’s top four and are surely the strongest favourites the event has ever seen. 

Yet the title-holders were taken the full distance by Germany, the fifth seeds who suffered a surprise defeat to lower-seeded Spain in the qualifying rounds, before winning 2-1.

British number one Joel Makin, originally from Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, led the Wales challenge and they stormed into the last eight for the first time since 2005 by upsetting Hong Kong, the sixth seeds who were semi-finalists in 2017.

Then, in the quarter-finals, the Welsh team defeated Scotland 2-0 thanks to wins by Makin and Peter Creed.

For the clash with Hong Kong, third string Emyr Evans was first on court for Wales to face Henry Leung, a 24-year-old ranked more than 30 places higher.

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After taking the opening game, Evans squandered game balls in the second to let Leung draw level, before the Hong Kong player took the third to move ahead.

But, with vociferous support from the Welsh camp surrounding the all-glass show court, Evans fought back to draw level before again coming from behind in the decider to win 11-8, 11-13, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7 after 87 minutes.

Evans punched the air with delight after putting underdogs Wales ahead.

Top string Joel Makin needed 46 minutes to seal top eight place for Wales, beating Hong Kong’s Leo Au 13-11, 11-4, 11-8 to close out the tie and earn a clash with Scotland.

“That was massive for us,” said Makin after the Hong Kong win.

“Emyr put in a massive shift for us in the first match, he was 7-3 down in the fifth and really put in a big effort in. 

“My opponent, Leo Au, mixes the height so well and he’s so tricky around the front, so I had to be disciplined and get on top of him quickly, so I’m glad to win that.”

Welsh coach David Evans said: “Getting into the top eight is huge for us. We have a young team as well and Joel is doing really well on PSA.

“Emyr had a game ball to go two-love up and that could have been it – but before long he was 2-1 down.  To be honest, how he won it, I don’t know – it was nothing to do with any coaching, just his grit and determination.

“He was 6-3 down in the fifth as well – then won it 11-7. They are all passionate boys.

“Joel’s had a great season – and to be British number one rounds it all off.”

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Wales defeated Scotland 2-0 to claim a semi-final berth for the first time since 1999.

Incredibly, the tie marked the first time the two countries had met in the championships since 1995 – when coach David Evans led them to a 3-0 win.

Second string Peter Creed, the world number 75 who plays out of Rhiwbina Squash Club, put Wales into the driving seat with an impressive 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 upset win over Alan Clyne, ranked 36 places higher. 

With the Welsh bench in vociferous support, team number one Makin, ranked 12 in the world, won Greg Lobban 15-13, 11-8, 11-5 to take his team back into the World semis.

“Creedy played a blinder there, he didn’t make many errors and was attacking,” said a jubilant Makin. “When he’s moving well like that he’s really hard to break down, so I had to play well and wrap it up.

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“Emyr (Evans) closed out a big win against Hong Kong and Creedy did the same today. We back ourselves, we are a good team and we did well.”

Welsh coach Evans, a former British Open champion, was equally upbeat, saying: “I’m very, very pleased. Coming here, we were looking for a top eight finish, for our funding, but when the draw opened up it was a massive opportunity for the boys.

“They’ve taken it with both hands.”

On the fact that it is 24 years since the nations last met in the event, Evans said: “We play Scotland a lot in the Europeans – but on a three-man team, there’s a different dynamic. 

“They were probably thinking the same as us – that there was a massive opportunity to get through to the semi-finals. Luckily, now we’re here.

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WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship, Washington DC, USA

Quarter-finals:

[1] EGYPT bt [5] GERMANY 2/1 

Karim Abdel Gawad bt Raphael Kandra 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4 (58m)

Ali Farag lost to Simon Rösner 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 8-11 (73m)

Mohamed Abouelghar bt Valentin Rapp 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (27m)

[11] WALES bt [9] SCOTLAND 2/0 

Peter Creed bt Alan Clyne 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (47m)

Joel Makin bt Greg Lobban 15-13, 11-8, 11-5 (57m)

[3] FRANCE bt [8] SPAIN 2/1 

Gregory Gaultier lost to Iker Pajares Bernabeu 11-13, 7-11, 14-12, 10-12 (84m)

Gregoire Marche bt Borja Golan 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (37m)

Mathieu Castagnet bt Carlos Cornes 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (31m)

[2] ENGLAND bt [4] NEW ZEALAND 2/1 

James Willstrop bt Campbell Grayson 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 (48m)

Adrian Waller lost to Paul Coll 4-11, 9-11, 5-11 (37m)

Daryl Selby bt Evan Williams 8-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-8 (56m)

Emyr Evans celebrates his win for Wales against Hong Kong.

13th – 20th place play-offs:

[12] USA bt [17] JAMAICA 3/0 

Andrew Douglas bt Lewis Walters 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (29m)

Todd Harrity bt Christopher Binnie 11-4, 11-7, 11-2 (20m)

Christopher Gordon bt Tahjia Lumley 11-2, 11-5 (12m)

[16] ARGENTINA bt [13] COLOMBIA 2/0 

Leandro Romiglio bt Ronald Palomino 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 (37m)

Robertino Pezzota bt Juan Camilo Vargas 3-11, 11-4, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8 (59m)

[21] KUWAIT bt [18] IRELAND 3/0 

Abdullah Al Muzayen bt Arthur Gaskin 11-2, 11-7, 12-10 (30m)

Ammar Altamimi bt Sean Conroy 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4 (47m)

Ali Alramezi bt Oisin Logan 11-4, 11-5 (20m)

[14] CANADA bt [19] SOUTH AFRICA 2/1 

Nick Sachvie bt Christo Potgieter 11-4, 3-11, 11-3, 11-3 (42m)

Michael McCue lost to Jean-Pierre Brits 4-11, 5-11, 3-11 (34m)

David Baillargeon bt Gary Wheadon 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)

9th – 12th place play-offs:

[10] MALAYSIA bt [6] HONG KONG CHINA 3/0 

Ivan Yuen bt Yip Tsz Fung 12-14, 11-2, 11-8, 11-3 (42m)

Eain Yow Ng bt Leo Au 11-2, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (41m)

Mohd Syafiq Kamal bt Henry Leung 14-12, 11-8 (21m)

[7] AUSTRALIA bt [15] SWITZERLAND 2/1 

Rex Hedrick lost to Reiko Peter 9-11, 9-11, 9-11 (54m)

Cameron Pilley bt Dimitri Steinmann 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4 (65m)

Zac Alexander bt Cédric Kuchen 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (29m)

21st – 23rd place play-offs:

[23] NIGERIA bt [22] REPUBLIC OF KOREA 2/1 

Sodiq Taiwo bt Se Hyun Lee 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 (37m)

Babatunde Ajagbe bt Ko Youngjo 6-11, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8 (52m)

Ehimen Ehalen lost to Chang-Wook Woo 8-11, 12-14, 10-12 (31m)

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