Canary Wharf Classic 2023: Makin wins bruiser with Asal to set up Coll final

March 17, 2023 - 5:05am
Tweet this Share on Facebook Print this Email this

Joel Makin and Paul Coll will meet in the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic final in a repeat of their Commonwealth Games gold medal duel after winning highly contrasting semi-finals at the East Wintergarden in London.

In the night’s opening match, World No.11 Makin took on World No.1 Mostafa Asal. Having already knocked out Peru’s Diego Elias and Egypt’s Tarek Momen earlier in the tournament, the Welshman came into their contest full of confidence.

The match was played in two distinct parts. The opening act saw the two players moving around each other well, in a high-paced first game. Makin was able to put his improved shot-making ability to the test, and he eventually came out on top 12-10, before then moving into a 7-2 lead in the second.

Asal showed why he is at the summit of the world rankings, pulling the game back in his favour, and he reversed the scoreline from the first to win it 12-10. The second act started midway through that game, with play becoming distinctly ugly and fragmented and punctuated by regular, contested refereeing decisions. That suited the World No.1, who went on to take the third game comfortably.

A change of ball brought about a change of fortunes for Makin in the fourth. The quicker pace allowed the Welshman to take control, and he sent the match into a decider with an 11-3 scoreline. There was then a pause in between the fourth and fifth, with a broken ball meaning a third new ball had to be warmed up.

Asal led 8-5, but from there, the Egyptian hit a number of errors and loose shots resulting in strokes. The Welshman won six points in a row to secure a third upset of the week and moved through to the final.