Claire Rockall and Marie Breen a fitness worry for Montenotte

Cork side favourites to defeat Killester in the Women’s National Cup final

 Erica Cody Kennedy Smith, DCU Mercy, in action against Marie Breen (left) and Claire Rockall of  Team Montenotte Hotel Cork. Photograph: Sportsfile

Erica Cody Kennedy Smith, DCU Mercy, in action against Marie Breen (left) and Claire Rockall of Team Montenotte Hotel Cork. Photograph: Sportsfile

 

Team Montenotte Hotel are sweating on the fitness of two first string players ahead of Saturday’s Women’s National Cup Final against Killester. Captain Claire Rockall picked up a foot injury in training – she’s been wearing a protective boot and sat out last weekend’s win over Maxol WIT Wildcats while post player Marie Breen is recovering from a bout of tonsillitis.

The defending champions still boast a deep rotation but Coach Mark Scannell is playing down their status as favourites.

“Killester’s league position doesn’t show where they are at the moment. They have two excellent Americans. You’re not going to stop everything, but we’ll look to negate their big weapons.”

Scannell also feels senior players in the squad will be looking to savour the moment. “We’d been off the pace for a couple of years and some players aren’t getting any younger so we’ll take any opportunity that we can. ‘Favourites’ and ‘Underdogs’ are just people’s opinions. We’ll just do what we do.”

Top scorer

Robin Murphy

She looked anything but a journey player in the semi-final win over UL Huskies. “I wanted to win so bad. It all clicked eventually in the semi-final and I hope we do the same thing over 40 minutes on Saturday. We’re pretty bad in the league so we don’t have anything to lose. We want the title just as much, if not more than they do.”

Killester captain Aisling Sullivan echoed the sentiment. “We have a strong desire to win this. We’ve played in four semi-finals in the past few years and never got through to the final, so getting over that hurdle I think will be a huge drive for the girls. Now that we are there, we certainly do not want to let this opportunity slip through our hands.”

UCD Marian will have a full bench to call upon for their Men’s National Cup final against C&S UCC Demons. Preston Ross has returned from a funeral in the US in time to prepare for the game and conditions in the camp have improved after a flat performance against Templeogue in the league.

Marian veteran Kevin Foley maintains popular opinion would see both Cups heading down the M8 on Saturday night.

“The two Dublin teams are going up against the two Cork teams and we’re both the underdogs – we understand that. We’ll throw the kitchen sink at them on Saturday night.”

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