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Junior Open: McClurg shows power to rock

Matthew McClurg was on fire at the Tile Market Ulster Junior Open yesterday, causing a major upset with victory over Tony Rush.

McClurg, one of the favourites for the under-14 title, came back from a set down to defeat former champion Rush, who was a finalist last year in the under-18s.

The Ward Park ace warmed to the tough task against number three seed Rush, proving that he could match his opponent’s power, particularly when they exchanged forehands in a match that lasted just over two hours.

Having lost the opening set McClurg showed his grit to take the next two 7-6, 6-3. Earlier, McClurg defeated Cormac Meehan 6-1 6-3 in the under-14s.

Matthew’s brother Ben eased through to the under-12 semi-finals with a 6-1 6-2 win over Zac Wilson.

In the longest match of the tournament so far, Emily Beatty dug deep to come from a set down to defeat Lucy Octave 5-7 7-5 6-0 after three hours 35 minutes in their under-14 clash, saving eight match points along the way.

It seemed to be a day of long battles at Belfast Boat Club with Jon McCreedy grinding out a 7-5 7-6 victory over Joe Heatly after two hours 26 minutes.

The longest girls under-12 quarter-final saw number four seed Hannah Cousins edge an entertaining two-hour duel with first year under-12 girl Lydia Kelly 4-6 6-2 6-4.

There was an upset in the under-14 boys when Christopher madden-McKee knocked out Fraser McFall 7-5 6-3.

Aaron Stubbs won a fine under-16 clash with Sam Bothwell, 6-4 6-1. Bothwell defeated David Weir 6-0 6-0 in the under-14s.

Belfast Telegraph