Cork basketball: Leaders Ballincollig at home for the first time in two months

John Coughlan previews the weekend action featuring Rebel clubs
Cork basketball: Leaders Ballincollig at home for the first time in two months

Ciaran O'Sullivan, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, in action at BCS. Picture: Larry Cummins.

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig will welcome Killorglin to Ballincollig Community School tomorrow for a crucial Men’s Super League clash.

The league debutants have yet to lose a game with 10 consecutive wins, but coach Kieran O’Sullivan is urging his players to stay focused.

O’Sullivan said: “We are happy with the campaign to date, though Killorglin have been noted to take a big scalp in any given season, but I am confident we will be ready for them.”
Ballincollig have taken the Super League by storm and with Padraig Lucey and Keelan Cairns excelling in last week’s win over Bright DCU Saints they go into this game with confidence.

There is little doubt Ballincollig will take the number one spot in the Southern Conference and the prize of a home quarter-final against the fourth side in the Northern Conference.

A win there will also give them a home semi-final as the season enters its final couple of months.

Killorglin look to have a decent starting five, but if Ballincollig are in the right frame of mind they will win this game in a canter.

Verdict: Tradehouse Central Ballincollig.

 Andre Nation has had a great season to date. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Andre Nation has had a great season to date. Picture: Larry Cummins.

The trip to Galway for C & S Neptune for their clash with NUIG Maree could have special significance for the play-offs.

Neptune have won four of their nine games and their opponents Maree are 5/5 and these teams will be battling to avoid finishing fourth and avoiding a trip to Eanna in the quarter-final.

Neptune player coach Colin O’Reilly will be worried with his team’s form as they totally underachieved in last week’s defeat to UCD Marian.

In some games Neptune have looked potential title contenders, but their last two games have seen their form dip considerably.

Their biggest problem is that American pairing Miles Washington and Richaud Gittens are not scoring enough in games.

NUIG Maree have a very good home record; they’ve defeated Tralee Warriors and Templeogue on this court and on form Neptune will have it all to do.

Verdict: NUIG Maree.

Fr Mathew’s certainly need a result as they have only won three of their 14 games.

In their latest defeat to Singletons Supervalu Brunell they played poorly.

American Shannon Brady looks to have lost the type of zest shown in previous seasons, but she is not alone as many of their local players are also underachieving.

It has been a poor campaign for coach Niamh Dwyer as she was part of the 2018/19 squad that won the Champions Trophy, but her side now look to be in serious decline.

Mathew’s, when playing to their strengths, are capable on their home court, but on present form Killester may just shade it.

Verdict: Killester.

On Sunday, Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell travel to DCU Mercy in the Women’s Super League.

The Cork side are only three points behind leaders The Address UCC Glanmire and another loss would put them out of the equation in the title run-in.

DCU Mercy lost away to St Mary’s Castleisland last weekend, but on home terrain they may just have enough to see off the Brunell challenge.

Verdict: DCU Mercy.

Fr Mathew’s are on the road again in the Men’s Division One National League when they travel to play Portlaoise Panthers.

The Cork side have already won on this court this season in a cup clash and there is no reason why they cannot repeat that performance.

Verdict: Fr Mathew’s.

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