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Mum's the word as Bothwell pair deal with Netherlands exit woes


By John Flack

Peter and Sam Bothwell missed out on a chance of together lifting their first professional doubles' title yesterday when they lost out in the semi-final of a $15,000 (£11,335) tournament in the Netherlands.

The Hillsborough brothers lost 6-2 6-4 to fourth-seeded Dutch pair, Michiel de Krom and Ryan Nijboer in Amstelveen but they are hoping that their mum, Louise, can help them go the extra mile sooner rather than later.

The former Irish international, who twice appeared at junior Wimbledon in the late 1970s, has taken over as her sons' travelling coach until the end of August.

Peter, at 22, the older brother, recently followed in Sam's footsteps and left the Soto Tennis Academy in Spain to return home.

When they are not playing abroad, the siblings receive coaching at the Irish national tennis centre at Dublin City University.

However, their mother has agreed to take over the mantle when Peter and Sam (20) are on their travels, which continue with a trip to Portugal later this month.

Meanwhile, Cian McDonnell and Caitlin McCullough became first time finalists at the Co Antrim Senior Championship at Ballycastle yesterday.

McDonnell defeated Windsor's Michael Blease 6-2 6-2 in the semi-finals and will meet second seed and former winner Aaron Stubbs in today's showpiece.

Donaghadee man Stubbs was involved in a much closer contest, taking more than two-and-a-half hours to overcome Larne's Adam Boyle 6-2 4-6 7-5.

McCullough, meanwhile, avenged her Ulster Open final loss to Jessica Leeman in the ladies' semis, emphatically beating the second-seeded Hawarden player 6-1 6-0.

Standing in 20-year-old McCullough's way as she chases a first Ballycastle senior title will be defending champion, Kerri Russell (ATT, Ballymena), who had a 6-3 6-4 win over Ballynafeigh's Christine Duncan yesterday.

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