Massaro Clinches England Semi Win Over Hosts New Zealand
3 Dec 2010
England and Australia will contest the final of the Women's World Team Squash Championship after both former champions prevailed in dramatic 2/1 semi-final wins in the biennial World Squash Federation event in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The fifth seeded hosts New Zealand missed out on a spot in the final after going down to England in a nail-biting encounter at the International Pacific College.
The Kiwis looked to have all but booked a spot in the title decider, with the two teams all square at one-all and New Zealand's golden girl Joelle King winning the first two games in the deciding match against Laura Massaro.
But the world number nine somehow came back from the dead, reeling the 22-year-old kiwi in to record a stunning 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 victory.
Earlier, Shelley Kitchen had given New Zealand the early advantage with a 3/1 win in 80 minutes over Tania Bailey - just the second time Kitchen has beaten her long-time rival during their careers. However, world number two Jenny Duncalf made it one-all, bouncing back from a game down to beat the Jaclyn Hawkes - the New Zealand top string who is celebrating her 28th birthday - 3/1.
Massaro is thrilled to have secured the victory for her team. The 27-year-old from Preston says she got off to a shaky start, but fortunately managed to turn things around.
"I just thought, dig in, keep the rallies long and just do the best that you can and that's all that anyone in my team expects me to do. I think I did that in the last three games.
"I've got a lot of experience in playing deciders - and that helped a lot," added the world No9.
England, now in the final for the ninth time in a row, will face championship rivals Australia in a battle between the two most successful teams in the event's history.
The second seeded Aussies are through to their first final appearance since 2004 after beating Malaysia in the semis.
Sarah Fitz-Gerald got the ball rolling for eight-time champions Australia with a comfortable 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 victory over Sharon Wee. However, half an hour later it was all square again at one-all after world number one Nicol David downed Rachael Grinham 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 to bring the fourth seeds back into contention.
England and Australia contested the final in all but two of the 13 Women's Team Championships between 1981 and 2004 - with the 'head-to-head' record between the countries currently standing at 7/4 to Australia.
Defending champions Egypt and sixth seeds France will meet in the play-off for fifth place: Third seeds Egypt beat USA 2/1 - squad number four Nour El Tayeb, aged 17, celebrating her debut in the world top ten rankings by beating the US number No3 Amanda Sobhy 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 - avenging her loss to the fellow 17-year-old in June's World Junior Championship final.
Their 3/0 win over Ireland, the seventh seeds, will ensure that France will record their highest finish in the championship in 13 appearances since 1987.
 ENGLAND v  AUSTRALIA
3rd place play-off:
 NEW ZEALAND v  MALAYSIA
5th place play-off:
 EGYPT v  FRANCE
7th place play-off:
 USA v  IRELAND
9th place play-off:
 NETHERLANDS v  SOUTH AFRICA
11th place play-off:
 INDIA v  HONG KONG
13th place play-off:
 CANADA v  JAPAN
15th place play-off:
 MEXICO v  AUSTRIA
Official website: www.womensworldsquash2010.co.nz
For further on-site information, contact World Team Championship Media Manager Gary Denvir
Email: email@example.com or Tel: +64 (0) 27 273 9446
 ENGLAND bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Tania Bailey lost to Shelley Kitchen 11-8, 9-11, 13-15, 7-11 (80m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Jaclyn Hawkes 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (64m)
Laura Massaro bt Joelle King 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (69m)
 AUSTRALIA bt  MALAYSIA 2/1
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Sharon Wee 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 (25m)
Rachael Grinham lost to Nicol David 8-11, 5-11, 5-11 (31m)
Kasey Brown bt Delia Arnold 11-6, 11-3, 12-10 (42m)
5th - 8th place play-offs:
 FRANCE bt  IRELAND 3/0
Maud Duplomb bt Zoe Barr 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (26m)
Camille Serme bt Aisling Blake 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 (41m)
Isabelle Stoehr bt Laura Mylotte 11-2, 11-5 (10m)
 EGYPT bt  USA 2/1
Nour El Tayeb bt Amanda Sobhy 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (23m)
Raneem El Weleily lost to Natalie Grainger 3-11, 10-12, 12-10, 6-11 (31m)
Engy Kheirallah bt Latasha Khan 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (35m)
9th - 12th place play-offs:
 NETHERLANDS bt  HONG KONG 2/1
Orla Noom lost to Carmen Lee 10-12, 4-11, 13-11, 11-8, 6-11 (44m)
Vanessa Atkinson bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (22m)
Annelize Naude bt Elise Ng 11-3, 11-8, 12-10 (22m)
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  INDIA 2/1
Milnay Louw bt Anaka Alankamony 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (22m)
Tenille Swartz lost to Dipika Pallikal 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 15-17, 8-11 (59m)
Siyoli Waters bt Joshna Chinappa 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 (42m)
13th - 16th place play-offs:
 JAPAN bt  MEXICO 2/1
Yuki Sakai bt Imelda Salazar Martinez 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 (41m)
Misaki Kobayashi lost to Samantha Teran 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11 (31m)
Miwa Maekawa bt Graciela Lopez Perez 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (25m)
 CANADA bt  AUSTRIA 3/0
Samantha Cornett bt Judith Gradnitzer 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (20m)
Miranda Ranieri bt Birgit Coufal 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (35m)
Stephanie Edmison bt Sandra Polak 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (22m)