A crucial weekend in the Men’s Super League with both Cork sides Tradehouse Central Ballincollig and C & S Neptune involved in doubleheaders.
C & S Neptune got their campaign back on track last weekend when they edged out NUIG Maree by the minimum in Galway. It has been a tough period for player-coach Colin O’Reilly but his experience will be vital as we come into the business end of the league.
The win over Maree was vital as it keeps them ahead of the Galway side to avoid a possible league quarter-final away to northern conference table-toppers Eanna.
It's hard to envisage how all the quarter-finals will shape as there is a clutter of teams in the northern conference vying for the third and fourth slots.
Tomorrow Neptune will welcome Moycullen to the Neptune stadium and on present form, Neptune should win this game in a canter. The low scoring averages of Moycullen has been recently documented and barring a complete Neptune meltdown the points will remain on Leeside.
Cian Heaphy returned last weekend and chipped with a crucial late free throw and it will be interesting if his performances are rewarded with a place in the forthcoming Irish Senior Men’s team.
Moycullen under John Cunningham have always been a structured club in Irish basketball but sadly in recent years, their conveyor belt hasn’t produced the quality players required at this level.
If complacency doesn’t kick in Neptune should secure the points.
On Sunday Neptune make the long trip to Belfast for a clash with Belfast Star and this will be a sterner challenge for them as Star are presently on a winning run.
Super League leaders Tradehouse Central Ballincollig are also involved in a doubleheader against Tralee Warriors that will begin tomorrow before another capacity attendance at the Tralee Sports complex.
The Kerry side showed their strength when overwhelming Neptune to win the National Cup but Ballincollig are also a team that possesses quality in their squad and these games will test the mindsets of both teams.
To be fair Ballincollig have easily disposed of the majority of teams in this campaign with their only defeat coming at the hands of the Warriors in the first round of the National Cup.
Ballincollig have a good rhythm in their team and if they can keep tabs on Daniel Jokubaitis and Eoin Quigley they have every chance of securing maximum points.
In the Women’s Super League Singleton's SuperValu Brunell will be hoping to keep their title challenge on track when they host Trinity Meteors at the Parochial Hall on Sunday.
The Brunell coach Timmy O’Halloran was pleased in the manner his team battled back after their epic overtime win over DCU Mercy in Dublin.
Reports from the game suggest Sinead O’Reilly played a captain’s part in the manner she defended and rebounded when the game hung in the balance.
Americans Kwanze Murray and Shannon Ryan were also outstanding with Edel Thornton putting in another huge shift.
Trinity Meteors have struggled to get results on the road and if Brunell are in a battling mood it could be a tough time at Gurranabraher for the Dublin outfit.
The Address UCC Glanmire have the title within their grasp and they should have few problems disposing of IT Carlow when the sides meet at The Barrow Centre.
Glanmire have defeated IT Carlow twice this season (once in the cup) and barring a total meltdown they will win this game in a canter.
The cup champions Super League aspirations will see them clash with Waterford Wildcats at the Mardyke Arena on Wednesday next (7.45pm) where a win will edge them closer to the title.
Wildcats and Brunell are just three points behind Glanmire and if the Waterford side came out on top it would blow the title race wide open.
UCC Demons should keep their Men’s National League Division 1 title aspirations on track when they host Scotts Lakers at the Mardyke Arena on Sunday.
Demons remain the favourites for promotion but their performance against Waterford Vikings a fortnight ago will give coach Danny O’Mahony cause for concern.
Kyle Hosford should return as will Jack O’Leary but Demons will need to sharpen up big time for the remaining games of the season.
Fr Mathew’s are having a reasonable season in the Men’s Division 1 and they will have at their best when they entertain UL Eagles at the Fr Mathew’s Arena tomorrow.