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Caleb Ralston's title boost at Irish National Junior Championship before Bath time

By John Flack

Caleb Ralston landed the Under 16 boys singles title at the Irish National Junior Championship in Dublin to give himself a perfect send-off before he heads to Bath next month to continue his education and receive expert tennis coaching.

The Lurgan ace defeated Conor Johnston in a tight three-setter 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 after earlier winning the mixed doubles final.

Ralston said: "I'm really happy with how I played all week at Fitzwilliam when I had a lot of tough matches but I had fantastic support from my coach, Lynsey McCullough, and all the other Ulster Tennis Academy players."

"Winning the U16 singles title was my main goal this year and I'm delighted to have achieved that while making two other finals and winning the mixed was an unexpected bonus.

"It's a really positive way to finish this season and I'm now looking forward to joining Team Bath academy next month when I will be aiming to take my tennis to the next level."

The other Ulster successes saw Harry Ellesmere team up with Jordan McKeown to lift the U16 doubles title and Jessica Leeman, in tandem with Munster's Caoimhe Duffy-Niblock, win the corresponding girls event.

Irish National Junior Championship finals: selected results: (Ulster names first): boys: U16: Caleb Ralston bt Conor Johnston 6-3, 5-7, 6-3; U16 doubles: Harry Ellesmere & Jordan McKeown bt Ralston & Adebola Obasoto 6-4, 6-3; girls: U16: Jessica Leeman lost to Ellie Murphy 7-6, 6-2; U12: Rachel McCrum lost to Ava Fanning 1-6, 6-3, 6-2; U16 doubles: Leeman & Caoimhe Duffy-Niblock bt Emily Connolly & Shauna Heffernan 6-1, 6-3; U16 mixed doubles: Ralston & Murphy bt McKeown & Marie-Perla Biansumba 7-6, 6-2.

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