ESF European Team Division 1 & 2 Squash Championships - day three LIVE!

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ESF European Team Division 1 & 2 Squash Championships - day three LIVE!

Look back at how day three unfolded at the Squash Arena and Blue Point Sports Center in Uster, Switzerland. 

| Day 3 schedule| Live scores | Watch live: ESF YouTube or Eurovision Sport |

2100: THAT'S A WRAP FOR SEMI-FINALS DAY HERE IN USTER. We'll see you tomorrow from 0900, with the women's Division 1 final at 1200 and the men's at 1400.

2041: Our semi-final line-up is complete! Sebastien Bonmalais takes care of business for Les Bleus, beating an increasingly frustrated Elliott Morris Devred 11-7 11-6 11-1. Although that only makes the score 2-1, even a 3-0 win for Rhys Evans over Gregoire Marche in the last rubber wouldn't be enough to win on games countback. There was discussion between the two squads about whether to play the last match, but Gregorie said 'yes please,' so on they go for a 'friendly' best of three.

A match that's certainly not a dead rubber is concluding on court 6 where Belgium and Hungary are playing the second men's Division 2 semi-final. The winners will earn not only a final against Scotland, but will get promoted to Division 1 next year. And, as I type, Hungary have won it! Belgium's Mats Raemen needed to win the final rubber in straight games, but he's just lost the first.   

1953: Wales are level! At 2-1 and 8-8, Makin gets a little lucky, sending Crouin into the front corner and guessing correctly as Crouin hits crosscourt straight on to his strings twice in a row for easy straight winners. That gives the Welsh no.1 match ball and he takes it as Crouin tins. A BIG roar from the world no.9! We've got a match on our hands. Sebastien Bonmalais and Elliott Morris Devred are next up.

1940: Victor Crouin may admit himself that he hasn't been at his best this week in Uster. He concedes the first two games to Joel Makin in this last semi-final of the day. But, wait a minute... he's just taken the third 11-7. This one was always going to be lengthy! France lead 1-0, remember.

1843: First blood to France. World no.17 Baptiste Masotti is too good for Emyr Evans, winning 11-6 11-7 11-3 in 31 minutes. That puts a bit of pressure on Joel Makin to pull off a result against Victor Crouin. The pair's last meeting was also in a team event - the World Team Championship last December in New Zealand, which the petit Frenchman won in five games in 78 bruising minutes. My bet is that this one will go loooong... 

810: We're straight into our last Division 1 semi-final of the day - and it might be the closest of the four. Remember, the men's playing order today is 2-1-3-4, so first up we'll have Emyr Evans v Baptiste Massotti. This has the look of a potentially pivotal match about it, too. After this, it's Joel Makin v Victor Crouin (which will be a cracker), Elliott Morris Devred v Sebastien Bonmalais and (if necessary) Rhys Evans v Gregoire Marche. 

Meanwhile, the women's Division 2 final will be between Germany and Finland. Just by getting to the final, they have achieved promotion to Division 1 next year, but they will both want the trophy as the cherry on the cake!

1805: I've just grabbed a chat with Tinne Gilis courtside. It was her defeat that unfortunately cost Belgium a first ever title at last year's European Team Championships in helsinki, and it's clear that painful memory is motivating her here. She said: "It would mean everything to win this title. We've been wanting this for so, so long. We were so close last year. I was the one who lost the deciding match and the defeat was one of the hardest defeats to get over - worse than losing in a PSA event. It motivates me to push even harder. I really want to put on a great performance. Whatever happens, happens, but we won't step off court without giving it everything."

1728: Belgium are level! World no.4 Nele Gilis may have slipped up one day one against Tesni Murphy in the pool games against Wales, but she is into top gear straight away in this one. She beats Marie Stephan 11-5 11-6 11-7 and the result now rests on her sister Tinne, who faces Enora Villard. The winner will play England in tomorrow's final.

1700: France take the lead in this second women's semi-final. Lauren Baltayan may have been born in Cairo, but she has the tricolore on her shirt and it clearly fires her up. She clinches two mammoth opening games against Chloe Crabbe, surrenders the third, but comes through 11-9 14-12 5-11 11-3. The bad news for France is that the Belgians' formidable Gilis sisters are next!

1605: It's time for the second women's semi-final, with 2019 champions France taking on second seeds Belgium. The order of play is 3-1-2, so to begin with, it's 17-year-old Lauren Baltayan - who finished third in the British Junior Open in January - up against 18-year-old Chloe Crabbe. According to the world rankings, the Frenchwoman is favourite to win this one and grab an early lead for France. But we'll see...

1508: It is England who progress to the men's final as Curtis Malik closes out a 15-13 11-7 11-9 win over Swiss no.3 Yannick Wilhelmi. 3-0 and all over. England will face either France or Wales in tomorrow's final - that semi is at 1800. I've just caught up with Malik, who told me: "I came to the European Championships last year and played a couple of pool games, but I was itching to play in the big matches like the semis and finals. To get the win over the line here is one of the best feelings of my career."

Scotland's men, meanwhile, have confirmed their promotion back to Division 1 by defeating Israel 3-0 with victories for Rory Stewart, Greg Lobban and Alasdair Prott and reaching the Division 2 final. The second semi, between Beglium and Hungary, is at 1800.

1404: England 2 Switzerland 0. The second match of this men's semi-final lacks the drama of the first. In fact, both players were rather error-strewn in the first game, but Mohamed ElShorbagy gradually asserted his dominance and closes out an 11-9 11-4 11-3 win over Nicolas Mueller to dampen the partisan atmosphere. England have one foot in the final. If they seal the win, it will be the 49th time out of 50 European Team Championships that they have been finalists (and they've won 43 of them!) Curtis Malik v Yannick Wilhelmi is next.

1324: Marwan takes it! What a match. In the fifth game, Marwan has four match balls, but three disappear including one easy forehand volley kill that Marwan dumps in the tin. At 10-9, the Englishman finally takes it and throws his racket away in relief! England 1 Switzerland 0. Mohamed ElShorbagy v Nicky Mueller is next.

Meanwhile, Scotland's men are 2-0 up on Israel in their Division 2 semi-final. One more win, and they will be promoted back to Division 1 next year.

1310: My word, it's tense. In the third game, Dimitri is a point away from taking a 2-1 lead, but Marwan saves two game balls, then gets a back wall nick, then Steinmann mis-hits a volley into the tin. Could that be a crucial missed chance for the Swiss no.2? Maybe not! In the fourth, a crucial no let is given against Marwan at 9-9, then the Englishman tins a backhand volley and it's 2-2! The deciding fith game in this opening men's semi-final between England and Switzerland is just beginning...

1240: Already the first match in this semi-final, between Marwan ElShorbagy and Dmitri Steinmann, is a beauty. The first went to the Englishman 11-4 but at 7-7 in the second, Marwan produces four tins in a row after lengthy exchanges. It's 1-1 and the flags are flying!

1200: High noon - and it's time for a showdown here in Uster! It is absolutely packed behind the glass court with Swiss flags fluttering and club coach Florian is rattling a cowbell. Here are the teams. Today's men's playing order is 2-1-3-4, so we'll have Marwan ElShorbagy v Dmitri Steinmann (who has been excellent so far this week), then Mohamed ElShorbagy v Nicolas Muller, Curtis Malik v Yannick Wilhelmi and (if necessary) Ben Smith v Robin Gadola. Let's GO!

On court 6, meanwhile, Scotland's men are playing Israel in the Division 2 semi-finals. If Israel win that, they will secure promotion to Division 1 for the first time since the split into three divisions back in 2010 (thank you Howard Harding!)! For Scotland, a win would secure immediate promotion back into Division 1 after they were relegated in Helsinki last year.

1130: We're half an hour away from our second semi-final of the day, with defending men's champions England facing the hosts Switzerland. There's a growing anticipatory buzz around the show court at the Uster Squash Arena. Meanwhile, on the side courts, Finland's women have beaten Poland 2-0 to reach the final in women's Division 2 - sealing promotion to Division 1 in 2025! The second semi-final, Denmark v Germany, is at 1600.

1038: WE HAVE OUR FIRST FINALISTS! An absolutely ruthless performance from England's Gina Kennedy to dismantle Tesni Murphy 11-9 11-3 11-1, give England an unassailable 2-0 lead and seal their place in Saturday's final against Belgium or France. Both teams have decided not to play the dead rubber. All smiles in the England camp on the front row of the bleachers. 

1003: First blood to England in this opening women's semi-final. A businesslike performance by Jasmine Hutton who beats Lowri Roberts 11-7 11-4 11-7. The English left-hander had one shot too many for her opponent, who is ranked some 60 places below her on PSA. The no.1's, Gina Kennedy v Tesni Murphy, are up next...  

0900: Welcome to the ESF's live coverage of semi-finals day in Uster! Now the games of selection poker can begin: who will your opponents select and in what order? And how do you adjust your order to match them, if at all? The playing order for the women today is 3-1-2 and in the men's it's 2-1-3-4.

First up at 0930 local time we have the opening women's semi-final with 40-time winners England taking on Wales. The team sheets are now in! We have Jasmine Hutton v Lowri Roberts first up, then Gina Kennedy v Tesni Murphy followed by SJ Perry v Emily Whitlock.

Wales' best ever finish at a European Team Championships was second two years ago in Eindhoven. England's women have only ever not won this title twice (in 2019 and 2010) and will start this semi-final as favourites.

Also in today's first session are the women's semi-finals in Division 2 where Finland play Poland; Scotland and Czech Republic in the Division 1 5-9 position play-offs; and Portugal's men v Slovakia in the dreaded Division 2 relegation play-offs.

After that, the Division 1 highlights are: England v Switzerland men's semi-final at 1200; France v Belgium women's semi at 1600 and the Wales v France men's semi-final at 1800. In the Division 2 semis, from 1200 it's Scotland's men's v Israel; 1600 Germany women v Denmark and at 1800 Hungary men v Belgium. For now, it's coffee time. Sit back, relax, and we'll make sure you don't miss a thing!

Live blogger: Mike Dale

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