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Bothwell and Barry are on a collision course at Hillsborough

 

In the ladies’ singles main draw, teenager Rachel McCrum will meet second seed Jessica Leeman after a 6-0 6-2 success over Omagh’s Nikki Hawkes (stock photo)
In the ladies’ singles main draw, teenager Rachel McCrum will meet second seed Jessica Leeman after a 6-0 6-2 success over Omagh’s Nikki Hawkes (stock photo)

By John Flack

Former Irish Davis Cup player Sam Barry has added his name to the list of entries for this week's Johnston Campbell North of Ireland Open Championship.

The 27-year-old Limerick man has been seeded to meet top-ranked local Peter Bothwell (23) in the men's singles final on Saturday with a four-figure prize at stake.

Although he no longer competes on the professional tour after a long-term injury which has curtailed his participation on the pro circuit, Barry is still a force to be reckoned with.

When he was at his peak, he was ranked 255 in the world and had 10 Davis Cup caps.

Bothwell, though, is the man in form, with three quarter-finals and two semis in his last five tournaments in Georgia and Greece, where he landed a fifth career doubles title a fortnight ago.

The Hillsborough man said: "I have been pleased with my recent form and am feeling good going into the tournament.

"I haven't played Sam in quite some time but he did beat me in the Irish Open a few years ago in our only previous meeting."

Last night, the tournament continued with men's singles qualifying in which there was an early shock as inter-pro ace Aaron Stubbs lost 6-3 6-2 to CIYMS player Bradley Yates.

There were no such problems for another Ulster player, Alex Watt, who booked his place against Karl Donaldson in the first round proper following a straightforward 6-3 6-2 win over Yates.

In the ladies' singles main draw, teenager Rachel McCrum will meet second seed Jessica Leeman after a 6-0 6-2 success over Omagh's Nikki Hawkes.

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