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Bothwell relieved to regain control and reach last four

 

Sam Bothwell
Sam Bothwell

By John Flack

Sam Bothwell overcame fellow Ulsterman Caleb Ralston last night in a tough battle to book his place in the semi-finals of the Co Dublin Championship at Carrickmines.

The Hillsborough man survived a scare in the second set to progress on a 6-2 4-6 6-2 scoreline to earn a date with fourth seed Dorian Kos in the last four tonight.

Ralston, who was seeded sixth, staged a gallant fightback after losing the first set to take the match to the wire against the title favourite.

Bothwell is more used to playing on hard and clay courts than grass, and he admitted that he is still getting accustomed to the unfamiliar surface.

He said: "I played a good, solid first set but I lost a bit of concentration in the second.

"However, I managed to up the intensity in the final set and took back control.

"I am still struggling a little on the grass, not having played on it for five years before this tournament, so it has been tough."

Ralston, while disappointed at the result, says he will take confidence from his battling performance.

The 19-year-old said: "I was gutted to lose the match and I felt I created chances that I wasn't quite able to take.

"I wish I could have got a better result but there were plenty of positives to take from my display and I will now move on to the next tournament with renewed confidence."

Meanwhile, at the Co Antrim Championship in Ballycastle, the action continued with the ladies' singles event, which is being staged on a round-robin basis due to a poor entry.

Bangor woman Amy Rothwell sprung a surprise with a first ever victory over Ulster senior inter-pro player Kerri Russell.

Rothwell saved two match points in the second set tie-break to win 5-7 7-6 6-3.

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