Basketball: Battle for top four hots up in Women’s Superleague
DCU Mercy host WIT Maxol Wildcats while champions Glanmire visit Killester
UCC Glanmire’s Áine McKenna: “We were delighted to be crowned regular season champions but now all our focus is on the top four and retaining our league title.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
The battle for a coveted spot in the top four of the women’s Superleague will go into overdrive this weekend as the third-, fourth- and fifth-placed teams all hope they can do enough to secure a vital win.
However, it’s going to come down to grit and determination to secure the remaining spots available as with third-place DCU Mercy on 27 points, fourth- placed Maxol WIT Wildcats and fifth-place Pyrobel Killester are just behind them on 24 points each so all are hoping that they can get the edge over each other this weekend.
Despite winning the title last weekend, Mark Scannell’s charges in Glanmire are determined not to take their foot off the pedal as the season draws to a close and they look firmly ahead to the play offs and defending their top-four title.
“We were delighted to be crowned regular season champions but now all our focus is on the top four and retaining our league title,” said team captain Áine McKenna.
Elsewhere, NUIG Mystics will be hoping they can do enough to secure a crucial win over Portlaoise Panthers in Galway on Saturday, while Meteors welcome Singleton SuperValu Brunell in a must-win game for both sides.
All eyes will then turn to DCU on Sunday where DCU Mercy take on Maxol WIT Wildcats in one of the weekend’s other big games.
Griffith Swords Thunder take on UCD Marian in the ALSAA at 6pm on Saturday evening in what is set to be a fantastic game, followed closely by a hugely-anticipated clash between Templeogue and Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in Oblate Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday evening.
Templeogue secured a midweek win over Killester on Tuesday evening and if they can overcome the Kerry warriors, the league title will be winging its way to the club for the first time.
Tralee meanwhile will be going into this game with confidence coming off the back of their seven-point victory over Swords in the Kingdom last weekend.
They will be hoping that they can topple one of the other top teams in Dublin this weekend to continue a winning streak that has been unshaken since Templeogue defeated them at home last December.
Killester meanwhile will hope to secure a vital win over Commercial.ie Éanna, one that Éanna will really need to try and win themselves as they bid to steer clear of the bottom two of the table.
Elsewhere, KUBS will travel to Belfast Star hoping to get a crucial win on the road to try and add some points’ tally, while bottom of the table Radisson Blu UL Eagles welcome SSE Airtricity Moycullen to the UL Arena.
Attention will then turn to Cork on Sunday where UCC Demons take on DCU Saints.
In the Women’s Division One meanwhile, it is a big weekend for ITC Basketball as Martin Conroy’s charges are set to be crowned champions for 2016/17 at their home game in Carlow this Saturday.