C&S Neptune look to bounce back in the league after cup defeat

John Coughlan previews the weekend basketball action, with Cork clubs Ballincollig and Glanmire on top
C&S Neptune look to bounce back in the league after cup defeat

C&S Neptune's Roy Downey scores in the cup final loss to Tralee. Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy

C&S NEPTUNE will be hoping to erase the disappointment of losing a cup final when they host UCD Marian in the Men’s Super League at the Neptune Stadium tomorrow (7pm).

To be fair it was a bad night at the office for Colin O’Reilly’s troops in their cup defeat to Tralee Warriors as the majority of the squad underachieved on the night.

In this year’s Super League the winners will be decided on a play-off basis and Neptune still have a squad capable of making a bold bid for the title. UCD Marian have had a disappointing season to date but they did take Tradehouse Central Ballincollig to extra time in Dublin this month.

There is little doubt this is game is no foregone conclusion as Cian Heaphy is ruled out for Neptune but if other players step up to the mark they should gain maximum points.

Verdict: C&S Neptune.

Men’s Super League leaders Tradehouse Central Ballincollig make the trip to Dublin tomorrow to play Bright DCU Saints.

Ballincollig are the only unbeaten side in the league and with American Andre Nation having another superb season and barring a minor miracle it’s hard to envisage anything less than a comprehensive Ballincollig win.

Verdict: Tradehouse Central Ballincollig.

The big Women’s game in Cork will be at the Parochial Hall on Sunday when Singleton's SuperValu Brunell host Fr Mathew’s.

It has been a mixed season for Brunell but their performance in their cup semi-final defeat to Glanmire brought criticism from many quarters.

Usually, when teams lose in all sports the focus seems to shine on the coaches or managers but in the case of Brunell some of the players need to reflect on recent poor performances.

Being part of a Super League squad does not guarantee you minutes on court because in my experience players should be working harder in training to ensure they get court time.

There is little doubt Brunell have two good Americans as recently Shannon Ryan has been dominating the post and playing relatively well.

In the case of Kwanza Murray I don’t think coach Tim O’Halloran has got the best of his professional as she tends to choose some ridiculous shooting options.

In her defence, at times Brunell are not playing structured basketball that would allow Murray get clear looks at the hoop.

Edel Thornton continues to put her heart and soul into every game and Simone O’Shea has put in some huge shifts in this campaign.

Alex Macheta has had her minutes restricted in recent weeks but I am sure she will bounce back for the remaining league games.

Fr Mathew’s have looked a team in disarray this season and have only three wins under their belt.

In their last league clash, they had to come from 20 points behind against St Mary’s Castleisland before extra time decided the game in their favour.

Coach Niamh Dwyer has been frustrated all season with her team's inconsistency and they will need a big showing in this game to avoid another defeat.

Grainne Dwyer is now in the twilight of her career but is still a quality player but American Shannon Brady is not producing consistent performances that are required from her on a weekly basis.

This is a game that could either way but we will stick with a home win.

Verdict: Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell.

National Cup champions The Address UCC Glanmire will be hoping to keep the ambitions on track for the double when they travel to Dublin for a clash against Killester.

Over the years Killester have been known to take big scalps on their home court but this Glanmire side are now beginning to fire on all cylinders and barring a complete meltdown they will continue with their recent rich vein of form.

Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy
Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy

Verdict: The Address UCC Glanmire.

In the Men’s Division 1, leaders UCC Demons travel to play Waterford Vikings fresh from their Presidents National Cup success against Drogheda Wolves.

The Vikings are struggling big time as they do not have any professionals and they will do well to contain a Demons side who have yet to taste defeat this season.

Demons' leading scorer Tala Thiam Fam got himself into early foul trouble in the cup final that restricted him to only playing five minutes in the first half but he is sure to be back on double figures in this game.

Picture: INPHO
Picture: INPHO

Verdict: UCC Demons.

Fr Mathew’s are also in action in the Men’s Division One and they should have few problems disposing of Scott Lakers in Killarney.

Verdict: Fr Mathew’s.

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