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Our trio show their class to reach national finals in Dublin

By John Flack

Three Ulster players might well be praying for rain in Dublin today after reaching the finals of the Irish Junior National Championship yesterday.

Play had to be moved onto the indoor courts after the heavens opened as Jessica Leeman and Caleb Ralston defeated the top seeds in their respective Under-16 semi-finals.

They will be joined in today's showpiece stage by Rachel McCrum, who is favourite to land the U12 girls singles title.

Ulster Tennis Academy coach Lynsey McCullough felt the move indoors due to the incessant rain helped the trio.

She said: "All the players did remarkably well and Caleb and Jessica have surpassed expectations by having reached their respective finals but I do think the elements worked in their favour.

"All of them spend quite a lot of time training on hard courts so, if the weather means we have to move indoors again, it might help once again."

Leeman defeated Caoimhe Duffy-Niblock 6-2 6-4 to set up a meeting with Ellie Murphy while Ralston's 6-1 6-2 success over Ronan Sweeney earned him a clash with Conor Johnston.

McCrum beat Grace Moloney 6-0 6-0 and will play Ava Fanning in the final while, in the U18 boys singles Peter Corrie lost 7-5 6-4 to top-ranked Morgan Lohan.

Meanwhile, Windsor's Karola Bejenaru lost out in three sets in an all-Romanian doubles final at the ITF event in her homeland but her achievement in getting to the decider will boost her world ranking.

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