Basketball Ireland coaching award is a derby boost for Kelleher and Neptune

Basketball Ireland coaching award is a derby boost for Kelleher and Neptune
Neptune manager Paul Kelleher. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

C and S Neptune have received a boost ahead of Friday’s derby against UCC Demons after Paul Kelleher was selected as the Coach of the Month for December.

The Neptune boss guided his side to four wins on the bounce in the Men’s Super League before recent losses to pace-setters Templeogue and Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, both by slim margins.

Early in the campaign the northsiders looked set for relegation on their return to the top flight but, despite the absence of Roy Downey through injury, have now found their feet.

They still have work to do, but a victory against Colin O’Reilly’s charges would certainly help their cause.

They were beaten by their rivals at the outset of the season, but are well primed going into this clash in the Mardyke, at 8pm, and will look to youngsters Cian Heaphy and Darragh O’Sullivan along with the more experienced Lehmon Colbert, formerly of Demons, and Gary Walsh to deliver.

Gary Walsh, C&S Neptune, takes on Paul Dick, Tralee Warriors. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Gary Walsh, C&S Neptune, takes on Paul Dick, Tralee Warriors. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Downey is also available again though Demons will be bolstered by the availability of Kyle Hosford, who was suspended for their defeat to Killorglin last weekend, while American Brandon Watts has been performing well.

Four other awards from Basketball Ireland will go to Cork, with Tradehouse Central Ballincollig’s Andre Nation and Kieran O’Sullivan recognised in Division 1. American star Nation has captured all four Player of the Month prizes to date while O’Sullivan is the top coach for the third time out of four.

Ballincollig coach Kieran O'Sullivan. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ballincollig coach Kieran O'Sullivan. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Fr Mathew’s Gráinne Dwyer’s excellence sees her honoured as the Women’s Super League Player of the Month.

The Division 1 Player of the Month is Claire Rockall, who is still based in Cork but now lining out for her home club Maree.

Dwyer and Rockall were key figures previously in Glanmire’s success but departed the club last summer.

Edel Thornton, Grainne Dwyer and Claire Rockall at the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Edel Thornton, Grainne Dwyer and Claire Rockall at the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

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