Women’s national Cup holders Huskies to defuse Ulster Rockets

DCU Mercy host Brunell in the Women’s National Cup at DCU Arena tomorrow, after beating them last week in the league, and coach Mark Ingle says: “We will need to play with the intensity we showed at the end right from the start this Sunday to win again.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

DCU Mercy host Brunell in the Women’s National Cup at DCU Arena tomorrow, after beating them last week in the league, and coach Mark Ingle says: “We will need to play with the intensity we showed at the end right from the start this Sunday to win again.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Thu, Dec 5, 2013, 23:00

Women’s National Cup champions UL Huskies begin their title defence tomorrow at home to Ulster Rockets in the first of four quarter-finals this weekend. Huskies came through a top-of-the-table clash with WIT Wildcats in the Women’s Premier League last weekend in Limerick, reaffirming their favourite’s tag in both cup and league after their first defeat of the season, by Killester, earlier in the month.

They will be expected to see off Ulster Rockets, who boast one of the game’s top shooters in Kerri Shields, who is averaging just under 20 points a game.

A win could give them the chance for revenge on Killester, who face Liffey Celtics,with the winner going on to face the Huskies or the Rockets.

The outstanding tie of the round has pitted DCU Mercy against Singleton SuperValu Brunell, at DCU Arena on Sunday at 3.30pm.

The upper hand
The sides sit third and fourth in the league respectively and met last weekend in that competition, also at DCU Arena. Brunell held the upper hand for much of the game before DCU Mercy’s experience shone through for the win.

“We upped the defence in the second half and made a few shots when we needed to,” said Mercy coach Mark Ingle. “We will need to play with the intensity we showed at the end right from the start this Sunday to win again.”

The eventual winner of Mercy and Brunell will go on to face the winner of another Cork v Dublin match-up in Team Montenotte Hotel hosting Meteors.

The two sides met last weekend in the Premier League, when Montenotte proved too strong but only after a stirring Meteors second half brought a large deficit back to as little as six points late in the game.

In the Men’s National Cup, just one semi-final place is up for grabs as Bord Gáis Neptune and DCU Saints play on Saturday night in Neptune Stadium for the right to join the already qualified Dublin Inter, C&S UCC Demons and Killester.

C&S UCC Demons host UCD Marian on Sunday in the sole Men’s Premier League game of the weekend..
FIXTURES: SATURDAY: Men’s National Cup: Neptune v DCU Saints, Neptune Stadium, 7pm.Women’s National Cup: UL Huskies v Ulster Rockets, Castletroy College, 5pm; Killester v Liffey Celtics, IWA Clontarf, 6pm; Team Montenotte Hotel v Meteors, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, 7pm.
SUNDAY: Men’s Premier League: C&S UCC Demons v UCD Marian, Mardyke Arena, 3.15pm. Women’s National Cup: DCU Mercy v Brunell, DCU, 3.30pm