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Bothwell sets up a final mission

By John Flack

Peter Bothwell upset the seedings to book his place in today's Irish Close Championship final with a memorable win at Donnybrook last night.

The Hillsborough teenager, ranked third, defeated second seed, Brendan Dempsey 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.

Bothwell totally outhit his 23 year old opponent, who plays on the US College circuit, to reach today's final in which he will meet top seed Lazare Kukhalashvili.

The match was watched by a big partisan crowd at the south Dublin venue but Bothwell was unfazed by the atmosphere as he went one better than the Leinster Open in which he bowed out at the semi final stage.

"I was able to hit quite a few winners especially with new tennis balls in the first and third set." said a delighted Bothwell after the match.

"I struggled on the lower bounce of the dead balls in the second set in which Brendan lifted his game encouraged by the large gallery.

"I got a bit nervous in the second but managed to get it together at the start of the third with the new balls to dominate again with the pace of my game."

The 18 year-old, who is based at the Soto Academy in Spain and receives funding from the Mary Peters Trust, faces a busy day today even before he contests the final.

"I am playing for Malahide in the final of the Dublin Premier League at 10am at Sutton in the north of the city and will then be hurrying across town to play at Donnybrook." he added.

Meanwhile Belfast girl Mary Parkash is through to the final of the Leinster Junior Open in Dublin.

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