Tradehouse Central Ballincollig will be bidding to become the first team in this country to complete a hat-trick of wins in the Hula Hoops President’s National Cup when they clash with LYIT Donegal in semi- final at the Parochial Hall on Saturday.
The Cork side have been a revelation this season as they remain the only unbeaten side across all leagues but coach Kieran O’Sullivan knows this is a potential banana skin against a quality side.
“We played them in the league and to be honest they led us for 38 minutes and that’s the reality of this semi- final as we know it’s not a foregone conclusion,” said Kieran O’Sullivan.
LYIT have a serious trio Manny Peyton, Dom Uhi and Andy McGeever who showed when the sides last clashed they have shooting skills to pose them problems.
“This Donegal side have two top class Americans and with Andy McGeever a quality player who once donned the colours of Killester we know that defence will be the key to restricting them,” added O’Sullivan.
The one plus for Ballincollig is they have strength in depth and if coach O’Sullivan uses the right rotations they should be good enough to wear this Donegal side down.
When Ronan O’Sullivan returned to the Ballincollig side this season many pundits predicted he was the missing link that eventually would see the Cork club getting promoted to the Super League.
So far O’Sullivan has done reasonably well but he will know he has more in the locker and if plays the basketball he is capable of Ballincollig should have few problems reaching the Holy Grail.
Verdict: Tradehouse Central Ballincollig.
Neptune will be hoping to advance to the semi-final of the Hula Hoops Men’s U18 National Cup when they host UCD Marian tomorrow.
The Blackpool side are slight favourites going into this game but coach Keith Daly believes it’s too close to call.
“UCD Marian have an excellent squad and the only slight advantage we have is playing on our home court but I do honestly believe nothing short of a top-class display will suffice,” said Keith Daly.
The Cork side have some quality players in Eli Lenihan, Kelvin O’Donoghue and Sean McCarthy who are all capable of leading them to a place in the decider.
The Dublin outfit under stalwart coach Fran Ryan are quietly confident and with Conor Meany also among the coaching staff they are bound to have their side well prepared.
Neptune are huffed and puffed in recent games but surely they will not blow a good opportunity of playing in a national cup final.