Cork basketball: Glanmire must be at their best to beat great rivals DCU Mercy

Women's league in the spotlight this weekend with the men's competition on a break due to international commitments
Cork basketball: Glanmire must be at their best to beat great rivals DCU Mercy

Mark Scannell's side will need to be at their best to beat DCU Mercy on Sunday in the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

THE Men’s Super League will take a break this weekend due to the Euro Basket championship qualifiers with Ireland last night playing away to Cyprus and hosting Austria at the National Basketball Arena on Sunday.

Congratulations to Kyle Hosford of UCC Demons and Tradehouse Central Ballincollig ace Adrian O’Sullivan on their selection to the team. Cork's Jordan Blount is also a key player. Hopefully, they’ll make telling contributions in both games.

All eyes this weekend are on the big game in the Women’s Super League when leaders DCU Mercy are in town for a clash with The Address UCC Glanmire at the Mardyke Arena on Sunday (2.30pm).

Glanmire made short work of their Cork rivals Fr Mathew’s last weekend and coach Mark Scannell knows DCU Mercy have lots of artillery at their disposal.

“We have had some great games against DCU over the years and on Sunday it will be no different with both sides going for the jugular from tip off,” said Mark Scannell.

The friendship between Scannell and the DCU Mercy chief Mark Ingle is a healthy one but when they are opposite sides of the fence it’s all about winning.

“Mark and I and very good friends but we have jobs to do and I am sure he will throw a few unexpected plays at us trying to upset our rhythm and we have to be ready for that,” added Scannell.

The form of the Glanmire American duo of Carrie Shepherd and Gigi Smith is formidable and if both are hot they could make it a difficult afternoon for the DCU defence.

One negative for Glanmire is that they will be missing the talented Claire O’Sullivan, who is recuperating from injury and Miriam Loughery who is also side-lined and they are two key absentees.

Claire Melia in my book is the most talented female player in the league and with Aine McKenna and Casey Grace knocking in the numbers, the Cork side are presently in a good place.

For the DCU Mercy coach a trip to Cork is equivalent to making an annual trip to his beloved Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“We are presently improving with a young group of players and know that it will take an almighty effort to topple Glanmire on their home court,” said Mark Ingle.

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell coach Timmy O’Halloran will be hoping to put last weekend’s defeat behind him when his team travel to Dublin to play Killester.

The Brunell side were clearly unlucky to lose at home to WIT Waterford Wildcats and he is hoping for a more composed performance in the capital.

“We didn’t perform and we are very aware where it broke down for us in the second half and now it’s a case of getting it right against Killester,” said Timmy O’Halloran.

Alex Macheta, Singleton's SuperValu Brunell, tracks Amy Murphy, Fr Mathew's. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Alex Macheta, Singleton's SuperValu Brunell, tracks Amy Murphy, Fr Mathew's. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Some of the Brunell players have to play smarter in this game particularly American Shannon Ryan who is a 6' 4" post player who should be putting up bigger numbers and getting more rebounds for her side.

Murray’s fellow American Kwanze Murray looks a decent player but on Saturday last her defence was non-existent that certainly hurt her team in the second half.

I didn’t count the number of times that Brunell didn’t get a shot off in the allocated 24 seconds but it’s clear to see a new plan must be put in place by coach O’Halloran to ensure there is not a repeat of this against Killester.

It's well known that Killester rely on shooting three-pointers to win games so Brunell will have to play rigid defence and somehow find a way to utilise Ryan at the post.

Fr Mathew’s will welcome back American Shannon Brady for their trip to Waterford tomorrow for a clash with WIT Waterford Wildcats.

The Deise outfit gained maximum points against Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell last weekend and Mathew’s will need to match their physicality if they are to have any chance of securing maximum points.

Wildcats American Jasmine Walker was superb when the game hung in the balance against Brunell and the Cork side will need to be focused on playing good defence.

The present depth in the Mathew’s squad is a problem for coach Niamh Dwyer and with only one win in five games they need to put in a season-best to get anything from this game.

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