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Happy Leeman household as Jessica and Dylan progress

By John Flack

Dylan Leeman and his sister Jessica played happy families at the Irish Junior National Championship in Dublin yesterday and came up trumps.

Jessica opened her account with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Lauren Heapes in the Under 16 girls singles event.

Dylan meanwhile began his campaign in the boys U-14 category with a 7-5, 6-3 success over Matthew Earle.

Ulster coach Lynsey McCullough said: "Dylan won the U-12 singles nationals last year so this is a step up for him but, as he is seeded fifth, we have high hopes that he can reach the quarter-finals at the very least.

"He had a disappointing defeat in the last eight at the Ulster Junior Open a few weeks ago so he will be out to make amends for that.

"Jessica is also a very talented player and won the U-16 title at the Boat Club recently so we are confident for her as well going forward.

"She is seeded fourth in Dublin, so she will be aiming to reach the semi-finals and would regard any further progress as a bonus.

"Both siblings spend a lot of their time in Dublin as part of the national squad so we hope that the investment their parents have put in will pay off in the future, if not this week."

Yesterday was a day of mixed fortunes for the other Ulster competitors, with wins for Jack Hudson at U-12 level, Eimear Smythe in the girls' U-16 event and Anton Robb in the corresponding boys' competition.

Robb beat local rival Peter Galt 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 in a three-set thriller but there was an unexpected defeat for Bangor's Jordan McKeown in the same event as he made an early exit.

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