Basketball: Tralee braced for massive Templeogue test
Talisman Donaghy looking forward to taking on the reigning cup holders
Tralee’s Kieran Donaghy: “We’ve to come up and be ready for a war and bring the battle to them and see where it takes us.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are prepared for a big battle this Saturday evening as they travel to Dublin to take on reigning cup holders, Templeogue, in the opening round of this year’s National Cup.
Warriors will be hoping to cause a major upset against the holders on the night and experienced stalwart, and former Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy, is looking forward to the occasion.
“Templeogue are a fantastic basketball team, they’ve weapons everywhere,” he admitted. “They’re good on the break with Lorcan [Murphy] he’s such an explosive player, a big momentum player and a dunk from him gets the crowd going.
“We’ve to come up and be ready for a war and bring the battle to them and see where it takes us. We’ll need to get the rub of the green too and hope at the same time that we play to our abilities – if we do that we’ll be right there with a fighting chance.
“Our American, Jordan Evans, is a very good player. He’s been finding his feet the last few weeks, and I’ll be expecting a big game from him this weekend. You’re not going to go up to Dublin and dethrone the reigning champions without a big game from your American, but I’ve full faith in him that he has the ability to do it.”
Elsewhere, last year’s cup runners-up UCD Marian will be hoping to get their campaign off to a strong start when they welcome Moycullen to the university for the opening game.
Maree meanwhile will welcome Griffith College Swords Thunder, while C and S Neptune are on the road to Belfast Star for their cup clash on Saturday.
Indeed, Star and Neptune will play each other twice this weekend, with the Cork team staying in Belfast to play them in the Men’s Super League on Sunday. There’s one other Super league clash on bank holiday Monday, when Griffith College Swords Thunder travel to Moycullen.
It’s also National Cup time for four of the Women’s Super league teams, with two big preliminary round clashes on Sunday. UCC Glanmire will face Killester in a repeat of last year’s cup quarterfinals, which Glanmire won.
Looking ahead to the game, Killester head coach Karl Kilbride stated: “We’ve played them in the cup in three of the last four years and we haven’t done well against them. We lost out to them at home last year, but we’re a very different team to that and so are they.
“After what happened last week against Marble City Hawks, we need to come out and make a big push now. We fully intend to go and get a win there on Sunday, it’s a tough place to play, there’s going to be a big home crowd. Glanmire punish you for your mistakes so we’re going to have to be at the top of our game to go out there and get a result.”
In Kilkenny meanwhile, Marble City Hawks and Fr Mathews will go head-to-head once more in their cup clash.
The two sides have already met in this year’s Women’s Superleague, with Fr Mathews coming out on top in that fixture. But Hawks – who come into the game off the back of that big league win against Killester last weekend – will be confident that they can prevail again.
Fr Mathews will then face into a Superleague clash on Monday at home, when they welcome IT Carlow Basketball to Cork as part of a double-header with their men’s Division One team.