Locals out to help Ulster to league promotion

Alpha's Tony Stephenson who has been so influential in the Ulster Inter County side with Tony Murphy.
Alpha's Tony Stephenson who has been so influential in the Ulster Inter County side with Tony Murphy.

This weekend the senior Ulster side will travel to face Lothian with the prospect of securing promotion for the fourth successive year.

Success would edge them ever closer to their target of playing in the Premier Division and last week’s 9-6 victory away to Northumberland has put them in a commanding position in Division Three North.

With victories over Cheshire (12-3 and 8-7) to add to the 12-3 defeat of Nottingham and the reverse fixture going Ulster’s way by the same score, the Lothian clash will be one which they can win with Lothian having already tasted one defeat at the hands of Cumbria (8-7) this season.

Recently crowned Irish National and Ulster Open champion Tony Stephenson was in sparkling form last week to give Tom Appleyard a real exhibition 21-14 21-8 in the top singles and he remains unbeaten in the championships and has only been taken to three sets by one player Tim Cope of Cheshire in the singles.

In the men’s doubles, the experienced partnership of Stephenson and Tony Murphy are also unbeaten but were taken to three by Cheshire’s Tim Cope and Jamie Wild while Murphy has been in impirious form too being unbeaten in the second singles berth and beat Garylee McMullen 21-13 21-13 last weekend.

Last weekend’s team was managed by Conor Hickland and comprised of Ryan Stewart and Norman Lau in addition to Stephenson and Murphy while Catherine Coyle, Dona Scott, Susan Stephenson and Keri Scott were also included.