Some super local derby cup semi-finals to look forward to in January as Cork hosts national cup semi-final once again

The meeting of Singleton's SuperValu Brunell and UCC Glanmire will be a game to savour as both sides try to reach the cup final
Some super local derby cup semi-finals to look forward to in January as Cork hosts national cup semi-final once again

Blue Demons basketball legend Shane Coughlan with his son Max at a recent Men's Division 1 basketball game at Mardyke Arena. Picture: Larry Cummins

THERE is sure to be a carnival atmosphere at the Neptune Stadium and Parochial Hall on January 7-9 when the National Cup will be hosted at both venues.

Although not officially announced it seems highly likely that the Super League teams will have their four semi- finals played at the Neptune Stadium.

The good news for Cork basketball fans is that we are guaranteed a Cork finalist in the Paudie O’Connor Women’s National Cup as The Address UCC Glanmire are pitted against Singletons Supervalu Brunell in one semi- final that should definitely attract a capacity attendance to the Blackpool venue.

It all began for Singletons Supervalu Brunell when they travelled to Dublin for a quarter final clash against Trinity Meteors and with the home side down a number of players with illness it was a stroll in the park for them.

The one plus for coach Timmy O’Halloran has been the form of his Americans Kwanze Murray and Shannon Ryan and if they come to play against Glanmire it could be a highly entertaining fixture.

Despite a careless first half display The Address UCC Glanmire readdressed their sloppy defending in the second half against IT Carlow to run out comfortable 97-59 winners.

News had filtered through before the game that American Gigi Smith was leaving the club as she had asked for a release to take up a job in France.

 Forward Miriam Loughrey, The Address UCC Glamire in action against Ava Coogan, IT Carlow. Pic: Larry Cummins. InsureMyHouse.ie Paudie O'Connor Womens National Cup quarter final. The Address UCC Glanmire vs IT Carlow at the Mardyke Arena.
Forward Miriam Loughrey, The Address UCC Glamire in action against Ava Coogan, IT Carlow. Pic: Larry Cummins. InsureMyHouse.ie Paudie O'Connor Womens National Cup quarter final. The Address UCC Glanmire vs IT Carlow at the Mardyke Arena.

The recent performances of Smith on court were well short of the standard from a professional and she was duly granted her wish by coach Mark Scannell.

No time for messing about for coach Scannell as he signed American Jaylyn Duran a 5’-7’ guard from Colorado.

The biggest plus for coach Scannell is the return of Miriam Loughery who assisted a pass to Claire Melia that would have graced any court in this country.

Wife of Cork Senior football selector Jim there is little doubt Loughery brings much needed mettle to this Glanmire side and is a player highly respected within the squad.

C & S Neptune were drawn away to Killester and came away with a six point win.

Credit to Neptune they are presently playing some quality basketball and player coach Colin O’Reilly and assistants Darren Geaney and Craig Drummond have brought a new urgency to the team.

In recent weeks Neptune have recruited a second American in Richaud Gittens a 6’-4’ guard who graduated at Weber State who was part of two Big Sky championship teams and twice played in the NCAA tournament.

In the semi- final they are paired against the inform team NUIG Maree who eliminated Templeogue and have also defeated Tralee Warriors in the Super League.

Its important that Neptune keep the Cork flag flying in this championship and hopefully another capacity attendance will witness a memorable semi-final.

The top game in the Men’s Presidents National Cup took place at Fr Mathews Arena as UCC Demons overcame the hosts in a terrific contest.

Reports from the game suggested that Mathews looked likely winners coming down the stretch but the introduction of Jack O’Leary proved a master substitution by coach Danny O’Mahony.

For many years the physicality in this division is raised a bar or two in derby games and this one was no different with both sides battling to the wire.

In the end the class of Kyle Hosford proved crucial for Demons as they held out for a hard-fought 80-72 win.

Demons new Danish signing Toby Christensen had 14 points in the first half but his two point contribution in the second half was not an impressive show in his debut.

Next up for Demons in this championship is a semi-final at the Parochial Hall against championship favourites Sligo All Stars and that should be a cracking encounter.

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