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Local hopefuls are bidding for treble joy at the Irish Junior Open


By John Flack

Ulster are guaranteed at least one winner at the Irish Junior Open today after Peter Corrie and Jordan McKeown reached the boys' Under-18 final yesterday to set up an all-local showdown between the top two seeds.

And the total trophy haul could be higher as Freddy Murray and Harry Ellesmere also progressed with wins in the U14 and U16 categories respectively.

Corrie, the top seed, chalked up a 7-5 6-4 win over Conor Johnston, while McKeown defeated Sean Collins 6-1 6-3 in the other semi-final yesterday.

Corrie will start the slight favourite in the final, having a little more experience than his opponent, although McKeown is noted for his never-say-die attitude, typified when he came from two match points down in his quarter-final to win five games on the trot in the second set.

Interestingly, both 17-year-olds are coached by members of the same family, Alex Watt looking after Corrie while his dad, Paul, is McKeown's mentor at the AGP Academy.

Meanwhile, Ellesmere, who is also coached by Paul, will meet Conor Gannon in the U16 final today after beating Matthew Cleere 6-2 7-5.

Murray will face top seed Arthur O'Sullivan in the U14 decider following his 6-4 6-4 win over namesake Zach Murray.

Ulster had a total of seven semi-finalists in action yesterday but there were defeats for Cian McDonnell, who went down in three sets at U16 level, Jessica Leeman, whose U18 clash also went the distance, and Ciara Hill, whose brave run came to an end in the U14 event after she had earlier dismissed two seeds.

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