Neptune looking forward to trip to old rivals Killester
Despite trophy-laden histories both have suffered disappointing league returns in recent years.
Neptune stalwart throughout barren years has been sharp-shooting guard Gary Walsh.
It is one of the great rivalries in Irish basketball. Between them, Killester of Dublin and Bord Gais Neptune of Cork share 18 Premier League titles, more than any other combination of teams.
Saturday night, they face off in an early season top of the table clash with both teams tied for first place.
Despite their clubs’ trophy-laden histories, both Neptune and Killester have suffered rather disappointing league returns in recent years.
After title winning campaigns in 2010 and 2011, Killester saw a number of top players retire and have failed to register as real contenders since.
Neptune, meanwhile, have not lifted the most coveted trophy in Irish basketball since 2003. One stalwart for Neptune throughout these barren years has been sharp-shooting guard Gary Walsh. On Saturday night, Walsh will most likely get the job of marking Killester’s Isaac Westbrooks, who scored 31 points in last weekend’s Dublin derby win over UCD Marian.
“They are always a difficult team and this year, with Isaac back playing, they are a serious contender,” said Walsh.“All of us love going up to Dublin to play Killester. There is a lot of history there and usually a bit of banter with the players and supporters,”
Killester are probably considered slight favourites, courtesy of their home advantage and comparable lack of injury problems.
For Neptune, another road win, while struggling through a series of injuries, would make for a better start than most of their supporters would have dared hope for.
In the Women’s Premier League, UL Huskies meet Team Montenotte in a replay of the 2013 cup final as Killester and Meteors host Liffey Celtics and Singleton SuperValu Brunell respectively. Sunday’s game has Ulster Rockets facing WIT Wildcats.
Fixtures – Saturday: Men’s Premier League: Moycullen v UCD Marian, NUIG Kingfisher, 8.15pm ; Killester v Bord Gais Neptune, IWA Clontarf, 8pm ; Templeogue v Belfast Star, Oblate Hall, 7pm ; UL Eagles v Dublin Inter, UL Sport Arena, 7pm.
Women’s Premier League: Killester v Liffey Celtics, IWA Clontarf, 6pm; Meteors v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, Colaiste Iosagain, 7pm; Team Montenotte Hotel v UL Huskies, Upper Glanmire Centre, 7pm.
Sunday: Men’s Premier League: C&S UCC Demons v DCU Saints, Mardyke Arena , 3.30pm .
Women’s Premier League: Ulster Rockets v WIT Wildcats, Methodist College, 1pm