Cork basketball: Ballincollig, Demons, Brunell and Glanmire set the pace

John Coughlan analyses the weekend Super League and Division 1 action, with Cork clubs showing their class
Cork basketball: Ballincollig, Demons, Brunell and Glanmire set the pace

Nikola Roso, Tralee Warriors, closes in on Adrian O'Sullivan, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig. Picture: Domnick Walsh

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig could be the first team to win the Men’s Super League in their debut season.

Presently Ballincollig are the only unbeaten steam and their performance in disposing of Griffith College Templeogue last weekend shows they mean business.

When American Andre Nation arrived in Cork back in 2018 his college career suggested he was a serious athlete. After a spell out of the game back in the States, he jumped at the opportunity at getting his career on track and credit to Ballincollig they backed the American.

Ballincollig are now at the summit and on present form, they could very well stay there. They are holding their own against some of the fancied sides since picking up a few crucial confidence-boosting wins early on.

Getting Adrian O’Sullivan back from a period playing as a pro overseas was also a huge boost. They look like a team on a mission.

Sadly the new restrictions only allow 50% of all gyms to be filled for indoor games and that will include the National Cup semi-finals that be will be staged in Cork from January 7-9.

All eyes on the ball as Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Sinead O'Reilly shoots past Liffey Celtics' Karen Mealey and Ciara Bracken. Picture: Denis Minihane.
All eyes on the ball as Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Sinead O'Reilly shoots past Liffey Celtics' Karen Mealey and Ciara Bracken. Picture: Denis Minihane.

C & S Neptune are also having a decent season, despite their loss at Eanna in Dublin. Neptune travelled to Dublin without their ace Catalonian Nil Sabata and were unlucky coming down the stretch, where they eventually lost by six points.

The Blackpool outfit are pitted against NUIG Maree in the cup semi-final and although the westerners are a very decent side surely Neptune, on home terrain, will not fluff this opportunity.

Player-coach Colin O’Reilly is known to be top dollar when preparing teams for one-off games and no doubt his team will have to be ready as they are facing a team with undoubted talent.

PROMISING

UCC Demons are still unbeaten in the Men’s Division 1 National League and their latest win over Limerick Celtics was impressive. There were ejections on both sides at the end of the game so Demons need to get their house in order in the discipline department.

Another negative was the second-half injury to Kyle Hosford and that will be a major worry with their cup semi-final against Sligo All-Stars looming.

 Diego O'Herlihy, Fr Mathew's, takes on Jordan Fallon, IT Carlow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Diego O'Herlihy, Fr Mathew's, takes on Jordan Fallon, IT Carlow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The other Cork side Fr Mathew's were without starters Jack O’Mahony and David Murray and came up short against IT Carlow, strong contenders in the Presidents Cup, having lost the last final to Ballincollig.

The Address UCC Glanmire are now beginning to show their true form and their 73-point win over Trinity Meteors was certainly a statement of intent. At their best, they are a serious outfit and their cup semi-final against Cork rivals Singletons SuperValu Brunell on Friday, January 7 will be a great occasion.

BOOST

Fr Mathew's had only won once prior to their game against the champions DCU Mercy but they toppled the Dublin side in style with Shannon Brady, Grainne Dwyer and Tricia Byrne finding their best form.

Brunell produced another solid home performance when getting the better of Liffey Celtics 76-67. With another home game against basement side IT Carlow coming before the Christmas break they should finish the year on a high.

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