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Joint third for Ireland in four nations battle


By John Flack

Ireland had to be satisfied with joint third place at the Four Nations Junior Championship which concluded in Glasgow yesterday.

However, it was a close call as Ireland and Wales finished just a single point behind Scotland, who were runners up to England.

Freddy Murray was the most successful of the three Ulster players in the various age-groups.

The David Lloyd youngster, who was runner up in the Irish Junior Open last month, won two of his three singles matches at U-14 level.

He helped Ireland defeat Wales 4-2 with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Rufus Plane and then beat George Russell 7-5, 6-0 in a 3-3 draw with England.

Unfortunately, he was unable to make it a hat-trick of victories in yesterday's 4-1 defeat by Scotland as he went down 2-6, 6-4 (10-2) to Jamie Connel.

In the U-18 category, Ulster duo of Peter Corrie and Jordan McKeown both found the going tough against higher-ranked opponents, who also compete on the ITF Junior circuit.

However, McKeown had a good win as Ireland drew 3-3 with Wales following a similar result against Scotland before a 5-1 loss to England yesterday.

The 17-year-old Ulster Senior and Junior Open champion defeated Welsh number two Tom Thadwell-Jones 3-6, 7-5, (10-7) but both Ulster boys lost their singles matches in yesterday's final rubber with the English.

However, Corrie produced a battling display against Tad Maclean, who is ranked over 500 places higher on the world-list, going down 3-6, 6-1 (11-9) after a closely-fought third set tie break.

Final placings: 1. England 11pts; 2. Scotland 7; 3. Ireland & Wales 6

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