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Blair and Bankier finalRobert Blair and Imogen Bankier had to settle for second best on finals day at the Carlton Irish International in Dublin this afternoon.

Scotland's two former world silver medallists were looking to add the Irish title to their Scottish Open Grand Prix win two weeks ago in Glasgow.

And they got off to a flying start against Dutch fifth seeds Jacco Arends and Selena Piek with the second seeds surging from 6-6 to 14-7 on the way to taking the first game 21-9.

But it was a different story in the second game as the Dutch pair, who had lost to the Scots in the Glasgow semi-finals in straight games, turned the tables to take it 21-19 after building on an 11-4 lead. Blair and Bankier closed to within a point at 17-16 but the Dutch held on to level the contest.

And Arends and Piek were never behind in the decider, pulling steadily away from 9-8 to take the match 21-13 after 48 minutes.

That repeated their Bitburger victory over Blair and Bankier to take the score to 4-1 in their favour in the five meetings since July, although the first two came about because Blair had to retire injured.

Blair and Bankier will now bring their competitive year to an end when they head for Rome and next week's Italian Open.

Bankier followed up her Yonex Welsh International semi-final with Kirsty Gilmour last weekend by reaching the same stage in Dublin. The pair will be aiming to improve on that  in Rome as they look to develop a partnership which is expected to serve Scotland well at next summer's Commonwealth Games.

 

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