Cork basketball: National Cup semi-final fixtures at Neptune and Parochial Hall

Four Cork teams have already qualified for the bumper weekend on January 7-9, with three more one win away from featuring
Cork basketball: National Cup semi-final fixtures at Neptune and Parochial Hall

Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Edel Thornton gets her pass away under pressure from WIT Wildcats' Helena Rohan and Kate Hickey. Picture: David Keane.

CORK will host a feast of basketball in January.

The InsureMyHouse.ie National Cup semi-finals will be staged at Neptune Stadium and Parochial Hall on January 7-9.

Four Cork teams have already qualified, including great rivals The Address UCC Glanmire and Singleton's SuperValu Brunell who collide in the Paudie O’Connor Cup on Friday, January 7 at 7.30pm in Neptune Stadium. Brunell reached the last two cup finals, but are still in pursuit of a first victory, while Glanmire are looking to bridge a gap to 2017 when they completed four in a row.

Claire Melia and Áine McKenna have excelled lately for Mark Scannell's side, while Brunell coach Tim O'Halloran has a floor general supreme in Irish international Edel Thornton.

The main event on Saturday, January 8, takes place at Neptune Stadium with the two Pat Duffy Cup semi-finals. First up is 2020 runners-up DBS Éanna against Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, before C&S Neptune host NUIG Maree at 7pm.

Player-coach Colin O'Reilly has Neptune firing in recent weeks, home-grown Roy Downey, Cian Heaphy and James Hannigan meshing with Miles Washington and Nil Sabata, and they saw off Killester on the road in the quarter-final. Maree are in their first semi but have an explosive American in De'Ondre Jackson.

C & S Neptune's Roy Downey gets past Killorglin's Liam Croke. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
C & S Neptune's Roy Downey gets past Killorglin's Liam Croke. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

UCC Demons have excelled since returning to the National League at Division 1 level and take on EJ Sligo All-Stars in Parochial Hall at 7pm on the same night. Demons won the President's Cup on two previous occasions, while Tradehouse Central Ballincollig completed three in a row when it was last staged in 2020.

Danny O'Mahony's charges, led by Irish captain Kyle Hosford, Spaniard Tala Fam Thiam, American Andre Kennedy and David Lehane, have passed every test so far, while Cork U20 hurler Kevin Moynihan will be eager to add to basketball medal to his collection.

In Sunday's action, Ballincollig's U20 outfit, with Sean O'Flynn and Colm Blount on song, are already through to a semi-final at 10am in Neptune Stadium, which will be a Cork derby if UCC Blue Demons get past Éanna. The Village will hope to have Cillian O'Connell back fit; Hugh Murphy, an All-Ireland minor football winner with Cork in 2019, is also involved.

The IWA Cup semi-final will feature holders Rebel Wheelers, at 2pm in Neptune Stadium, if they win their quarter-final with Kingdom Wheelblasters. The Leesiders were cup champs in 2019 and '20, with Derek Hegarty the MVP in the last decider against Killester.

Derek Hegarty of Rebel Wheelers shoots a basket. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Derek Hegarty of Rebel Wheelers shoots a basket. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

At 11am, Singleton's SuperValu Brunell will be in the Women's U20 tie at 11am in Parochial Hall if they beat Meteors.

Tickets will go on sale on December 13 and due to the current 50% venue capacity restrictions, each club participating in the semi-finals will be allocated a percentage of tickets. Any unsold tickets from clubs will be released for general sale on January 4. 

NATIONAL CUP SEMI-FINALS:

FRIDAY, January 7:

Paudie O'Connor Cup: The Address UCC Glanmire v Singleton's SuperValu Brunell, Neptune Stadium, 7,30pm.

SATURDAY, January 8:

Pat Duffy Cup: C&S Neptune v NUIG Maree, Neptune Stadium, 7pm.

President's Cup: UCC Demons v EJ Sligo All-Stars, Parochial Hall, 7pm.

SUNDAY, January 9:

U20 Men's Cup: Ballincollig v UCC Demons or Éanna, Neptune Stadium, 10am.

U20 Women's Cup: Singleton's SuperValu Brunell or Meteors v Tullamore or Portlaoise Panthers, Parochial Hall, 11am.

IWA Cup: Rebel Wheelers/Kingdom Wheelblasters v Clonaslee, Neptune Stadium, 2pm.

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