Cork basketball: Preview of all the weekend league action

Leaders Ballincollig head to Dublin for the first time this season while Brunell and Glanmire prepare for their cup clash in January
Cork basketball: Preview of all the weekend league action

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig's Andre Nation shooting a basket despite the efforts of Éanna BC's Daniel Heaney. Picture Denis Minihane.

MEN'S Super League leaders Tradehouse Central Ballincollig are in the capital tomorrow when they face Griffith College Templeogue.

It has been an impressive start to the season for the league debutants and for joint head coach Kieran O’Sullivan it will be a game to savour for his side.

“I suppose with both of us knocked out of the cup in the first round and the Women’s International break it will be three weeks since we and Templeogue have played so I guess there will be a little rustiness on both sides,” said Kieran O’Sullivan.

The Ballincollig chief believes his side will be prepared for what Templeogue will throw at them.

“We have a lot of respect for Templeogue but we know our capabilities so we won't be overawed on our first trip to Dublin this season either,” added O’Sullivan.

The second Cork side C & S Neptune are also in Dublin where they face the might of Eanna.

Neptune are presently on a good run and have won three games on the bounce; assistant coach Darren Geaney is confident the team can continue to improve.

“We are aware of the threat that Eanna could pose us but presently the spirit in our camp is very positive and we look forward to another tough battle on Dublin terrain,” said Geaney.

Neptune qualified for the Pat Duffy National Cup semi-final last weekend with a hard-fought win over Killester and Geaney believes this was a true test of the team's character.

Geaney added: “We have defeated Killester on their home court twice once in the league and the other in the cup and that’s not an easy task for any side and hopefully it will give the guys the required lift going forward.” 

SHOWDOWN

Singleton's SuperValu Brunell got a huge lift in recent weeks by playing impressive basketball and their progress to date is sure to be tested on Sunday when they entertain Liffey Celtics at the Parochial Hall.

After qualifying for a mouth-watering National Cup semi-final against Cork rivals The Address UCC Glanmire coach Timmy O’Halloran knows that getting back to league business is crucial.

Right now the cup is on the back of my mind as we need to be picking up league points to stay in the title race and they don’t come any tougher than Liffey Celtics who are a very decent side."

The Kildare side are a tough unit to crack and with Ciara Bracken and Sorcha Tiernan capable of hurting Brunell with their outside shooting defence will be key for the Cork outfit.

“Defence will be crucial not alone in this game but for the remainder of the season and we are very aware of the work we must do as a squad,” added O’Halloran.

Fr Mathews are presently having their worst season since joining the Super League and with only one under their belt this season a win at IT Carlow tomorrow is a must to give them the required lift for the remainder of the campaign.

The cup defeat to WIT Wildcats last weekend was disappointing as they were outscored 25-7 in the fourth quarter having been tied at 55 points each entering that period.

There is little doubt the lack of presence on the boards saw them getting totally exposed and in the end, they looked a shadow of the team that has competed well at this level over the past five years.

The inform team in the Women’s Super League are The Address UCC Glanmire and they should continue with their winning ways when they travel to play Trinity Meteors.

There will be a debut for new American signing Jaylan Duran who has replaced the departed Gigi Smith who failed to make enough of an impression over her three months with the Cork side.

Glanmire under coach Mark Scannell look a formidable unit and if their new recruit can consistently produce double figures a good season looks on the cards for the former champions.

 Carrie Shepherd, The Address UCC Glanmire, in action against IT Carlow. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Carrie Shepherd, The Address UCC Glanmire, in action against IT Carlow. Picture: Larry Cummins.

UCC Demons are still unbeaten and they will face their sternest test to date when they host Limerick Celtics at the Parochial Hall tomorrow (6pm).

Demons were pushed hard by local rivals Fr Mathew's in their cup quarter-final and a big improvement will be needed against this talented Limerick side.

Fr Mathew's are probably still thinking what could have been in their cup defeat to Demons and player-coach Darko Bucan will be determined to get back to winning ways tomorrow when they host IT Carlow at Fr Mathews Arena.

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