SINGLETON'S SuperValu Brunell will be hoping to find their best form when they go across the city tomorrow to play Fr Mathew’s in an interesting derby at Fr Mathew’s Arena.
It has been a disappointing season for both clubs as Mathew’s are 8-8 with Brunell also underachieving on 4-12 but Brunell’s performance against champions elect DCU Mercy on Sunday last suggests they have quality to compete at this level.
It has been already documented about the players that Brunell coach Tim O’Halloran lost at the start of the season and without doubt Amy Waters, Amy Murphy and Simone O’Shea has definitely weakened them.
The injury to Katie Walsh was another huge blow but it’s still frustrating for coach O’Halloran, whose body language suggests the season has taken its toll on him.
There are players in this Brunell team that are not at the required level of fitness and that has hurt them in many games this season.
When coach O’Halloran looks back on this season he will surely rue not finding the adequate plays that could have utilised his Lithuanian Greta Tamanskaite better in the offence court.
On the other side of the coin Tamanskaite doesn’t work hard enough to get open looks and that was evident in the DCU defeat where the scoring averages dropped considerably in the second half.
Fr Mathew’s record of eight wins is a very disappointing season for a team who strengthened from last season when they won the Champions Trophy and finished third in the Super League.
The big change as the season matured saw head coach James Fleming take a back-seat role to be replaced by Niamh Dwyer who has yet to taste success in her new position.
To be fair coach Fleming has a good record in Irish basketball and it now looks highly likely he will not be part of Fr Mathew’s set up next season.
This is a huge game for Fr Mathew’s as another defeat would put them firmly out of the play offs but Brunell’s consistency on the road isn’t good and they may have to settle for second best on this occasion.
Verdict: Fr Mathew’s.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire are showing decent form in recent weeks and their trip to the capital for a clash against Pyrobel Killester is eagerly awaited.
The Dublin side inflicted a shock cup semi-final defeat on Glanmire back in January before eventually being crowned champions with a win against fellow Cork side Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell.
It has been a decent season for Glanmire as coach Mark Scannell looks forward to another big game.
“The bottom line is that Killester defeated us in the cup and that was a hard loss to take but look they are a very good side with a decent coach and this will be a true test for my team,” said Mark Scannell.
The present form of the Glanmire American Shrita Parker is a huge plus for the Leesiders and if she arrives in Clontarf ready to play Killester could be in for a tough evening.
Revenge is better served cold and I fancy Glanmire to make the journey home a little shorter by taking maximum points.
Verdict: Ambassador UCC Glanmire.