Derby clash for Cork


The CORK basketball derby between Neptune and Blue Demons is just one of the interesting encounters thrown up in the draw for the 1999 men's Sprite Cup which took place yesterday in Dublin.

Blue Demons, back in the National League after five years were beaten quarter-finalists last year and hope to make their mark when the first round takes place over the weekend of October 31st.

Defending champions Denny Notre Dame face local rivals UCD and will be considered favourites to advance. With young Kevin Meaney just out of school and tasting his first year at Super League level, UCD may indeed harbour some expectations. Ciaran Dempsey, the Denny point guard and another of the up-and-coming young players should also relish the higher standard this year.

Dublin side Killester would have preferred a home game against Ulster's Star of the Sea, who continue to harbour dreams of winning the cup for the first time. In the women's draw defending champions Snowcream Wildcats are up against non-National League side Sligo Dairies. Snowcream have now gone 23 games unbeaten and are again collared with the favourites tag this season. Further strengthened by the addition of 6 ft 1 in Orla Dempsey to the squad, Snowcream are hoping to relive last year's winning run which ended in victory over Naoimh Mhuire, who are now defunct.

Killester, however, who travel to meet Supermacs Limerick, have gained from Naoimh Mhuire's demise with the addition of Jane Blount and Denise Walsh for their quarter-final match. All games take place on the weekend of December 12th.

Men's National Cup - round one: Denny Notre Dame v UCD Marian; winner prelim 1 v winner prelim 2; Dublin Bay Vikings v Burger King Limerick; Marlborough Saints v Team Sligo Daires; Star of the Sea v Killester; Dungannon v Waterford Crystal; Tolka Rovers v Kerry Spring Killarney; Neptune v Blue Demons. (All games in to be played Oct 31st/Nov 1st)

Preliminary round: Longnecks Ballina v Clare Jets (game 1); Cobras v Tralee Tigers; winner game 1 v Queen's Graduates. (Preliminary games to be played in Ennistyomon October 24th/25th).

Women's Quarter-Finals: Sligo Daries v Snowcream Wildcats; Supermacs Limerick v Killester; Meteors (bye into semi-final); Tolka Rovers v Castlebar Rockets. (Quarter-finals to be played December 12th/13th.)