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SELECT GAMING PSA M10 KENT OPEN At The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent, England. Semi-Finals (Saturday May 28th 2016): (8) Joel Makin (Wales) beat (1) Charles Sharpes (England) 11-8, 4-11, 11-13, 11-3, 16-14 (104 mins) (2) Tom Ford (England) beat (4) Peter Creed (Wales) 13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9 (87 mins) FORD MEETS MAKIN IN KENT OPEN FINAL Top seed and reigning champion Charles Sharpes crashed out of the Select Gaming PSA M10 Kent Open after a dramatic and often physical contest with Welsh No.2 Joel Makin. Their semi-final battle lasted 104 minutes, seven minutes less than an equally unpleasant final of the Stortford Classic last week contested by the same two players and won by Sharpes. In contrast, No.2 seed Tom Ford overcame Welsh No.1 Peter Creed in the opening semi-final in an absorbing match that ebbed and flowed with brilliant, attacking squash, coupled with astonishing retrieving in a match that was a credit to the professional game, with honesty, commitment and sportsmanship in equal measure. Both matches went to five. Ford protected a 10-6 lead and closed out the match 11-9 after a late wobble. Makin won 16-14 after Sharpes wasted a 10-7 lead. Ford has developed into a flamboyant, attacking player with an impressive range of attacking shots. Much of his match with Creed took place in the front half of the court with both players attempting spectacular winners, which in turn produced equally impressive retrieving. Ford won the opening game the hard way. He powered ahead to lead 10-6 but Creed won five points in a row before Ford nailed it 13-11. He dominated the second, winning 11-6, and the 22-year-old looked to be heading for a place in the final as he led 7-4 in the third. However, Creed showed why he is rated one of the best athletes in the game as he hurled himself around the court, combining some gut-wrenching retrievals with superb winners. He won the third 11-8 and took the fourth 13-11 after some fast and furious rallies. Creed led 5-3 in the fifth before Ford put together a phenomenal spell of controlled aggression to win six points in a row. After a couple of tins he closed out the match and booked his first appearance in a PSA final since November. He said: “Peter is such a great competitor that I always knew that a big fightback would emerge at some stage. “It was a really enjoyable match to play and I love the whole atmosphere here at the club. It’s great to see the club packed out every day and the players really enjoy coming here. “On my last appearance here I only lasted one day but it’s nice to come back and stay for a bit longer. I am really looking forward to the final.” In a bizarre twist, the second semi-final finished on a conduct stroke for racket throwing for the second night in a row. Last night Jaymie Haycocks was punished for his indiscretion after Sharpes had been awarded a conduct stroke. This time it was Sharpes who conceded the stroke and launched his racket towards the front wall after a momentous battle in the fifth game. Makin gleefully celebrated the decision. It was an unfortunate end to a brutal contest. It wasn’t pretty. But it was raw, high-octane sporting endeavour, compelling drama to the end.

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