Rebel Wheelers prepare for a cup cracker with great rivals Killester

Cork side lifted the IWA National Cup the last time it was played in 2020
Rebel Wheelers prepare for a cup cracker with great rivals Killester

Jack Quinn, left, and Alan Dineen of Rebel Wheelers during the Hula Hoops IWA Wheelchair Basketball Cup final win over Killester WBC in 2020. Picture: Daniel Tutty/Sportsfile

IT will be another great day tomorrow for Rebel Wheelers player-coach Alan Dineen as he gets ready to help his team retain the IWA National Cup when they go head to head with Dublin side Killester in Tallaght at 11am.

Dineen was assistant last season to Con Coughlan but this season they have swapped roles.

In the semi-final against Clonaslee last weekend they had 30 points to spare and now the Rebel Wheelers are ready to take the capital by storm for another intriguing final.

“That’s what the guys started training for back in September where we played both Limerick Celtics and Clonaslee and won both so we knew that the fire and energy was still in the squad from last season,” said Alan Dineen.

This is a repeat of the 2020 final and coach Dineen believes his side are a stronger squad than last season.

“We have two new players in Neil O’Sullivan and Jack Mangan from Laois who is now a starter and overall the mood in the camp is all positive,” added Dineen.

Former MVP Derek Hegarty and Dylan McCarthy are still playing, but the latter will have a late fitness test before he can take his place in the line-up.

Derek Hegarty of Rebel Wheeler celebrates being announced MVP. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Derek Hegarty of Rebel Wheeler celebrates being announced MVP. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The club sponsor Healthcare 21 gave them a boost this week when they sent former Cork Hurling star and Irish rugby international Tomás O’Leary to their training session.

“Many thanks to Healthcare 21 for sending Tomás O’Leary to our session and he gave a wonderful motivational speech to the guys at the end of the session.” 

Tomorrow's opponents Killester have a great history in IWA basketball and the Wheelers chief believes this will another close final.

“We know what Killester are all about as on each occasion we have played them they are always competitive so we will be expecting nothing less than a very tough game.” 

The Rebel Wheelers trained twice this week but in the words of Dineen, the preparations for this final began many months ago.

“The lads know what they have to do and like every final, in Tallaght you got to turn up and be ready for battle.” 

The team will depart today making their way to the Maldron Hotel where an early night should have the bodies ready tomorrow.

“We have some wonderful people in this club and they like nothing better than winning this championship and we intend to make sure we don’t let them down.”

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