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Ulster off to ideal start in quest for inter-pro crown

By Staff Reporter

Ulster made a winning start to their senior inter-provincial title bid in Kilkenny last night as they defeated Connacht 4-2.

The ladies stole the show with a clean sweep of victories after the men had lost both their singles clashes.

Alex Watt went down 6-1 6-2 to Mikey Clarke and then Aaron Stubbs fell to a 7-5 7-5 defeat against Sean Coughlan.

But Lucy Octave and Laura Reid steadied the ship with wins in the ladies' singles to square the match at 2-2.

Octave defeated Dearbhle Roe 6-3 6-3 and Reid had a 6-2 6-2 victory over Anna Jones to leave everything resting on the two doubles matches.

Przemek Stec and Sam Bothwell beat Philip King and Eoghan O'Dea 6-0 6-3 as Ulster moved 3-2 ahead overall.

In the final match of the night, Windsor twins Annie and Caitlin McCullough came from a set down to beat Dee Collins and Marion Hanley 3-6 6-2 6-1 to seal an important win for Ulster with encounters with Leinster and Munster to come today.

Meanwhile, Ulster players Amy Rothwell and Caleb Ralston are through to their respective Under-16 finals at the Shankill Junior Open tournament in Dublin.

Bangor player Rothwell beat Niamh Sheehan 6-0 6-0 while Ralston (Lurgan) had a superb 0-6 7-6 6-3 win over top seed Adebola Obasato.

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