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Glanmire and Killester to go head-to-head in Cork

Full fixture list of women’s Super League gets under way this weekend

Killester coach Karl Kilbride. “It’s not an easy one going away to Glanmire given how good they’ve been the last few years.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The full range of women’s Super League fixtures will get under way this coming weekend, with eight of the nine teams in action this Saturday and Sunday.

Reigning regular season champions Ambassador UCC Glanmire will host Pyrobel Killester at the Mardyke Arena in Cork on Sunday in what is set to be a tough opening round test for both sides.

“It’s not an easy one going away to Glanmire given how good they’ve been the last few years,” admitted Killester head coach Karl Kilbride, “but we like to think we’re not an easy pushover either.”

Glanmire’s Mark Scannell added: “The girls have trained hard, and they’re hungry as ever, so hopefully we’ll have a good season. We’re disappointed that we didn’t win the league last year; we won the regular season but we didn’t win the league and that hurts. We’ll come back hungrier and stronger because of it, though.”

Elsewhere, Portlaoise Panthers will be without the services of international star Claire Melia this coming weekend when they host Singleton SuperValu Brunell on Saturday as she picked up a serious injury in pre-season.

“Pre-season was going well for us up until last week when we got the devastating news of Claire’s injury,” said head coach Peter O’Sullivan. “Everybody knows what Claire brings to any team and especially ours. But she will still play an important role in the team, and other players will now have the chance to stand up.”

Last season’s league champions and cup runners-up Courtyard Liffey Celtics, meanwhile, will welcome NUIG Mystics. Mystics come into the game off the back of an opening round overtime loss to IT Carlow Basketball last weekend, and will be hoping to get a win under their belts. Carlow will face off against Maxol WIT Wildcats in their second game of the season on Sunday.

One-point loss

Meanwhile, in the men’s Super League some very interesting clashes are in store. Griffith College Swords Thunder will welcome an unbeaten Belfast Star to the ALSAA on Saturday, and they come into the game off the back of an agonising one-point loss to UCC Demons last weekend.

Star, for their part, will be relishing the chance of a tough test against one of the top teams in the league.

Elsewhere, UCD Marian will travel to Oblate Hall in Inchicore for a much-anticipated clash with Black Amber Templeogue. Marian have won both of their games so far this season, while Templeogue will be aiming to get back to winning ways having suffered defeat at the hands of both Pyrobel Killester and Éanna. Meanwhile the latter will face an interesting test in Colaiste Éanna as they welcome Joey Boylan’s DCU Saints on Saturday evening.

Galway sides

Both Galway sides are also in action, with Maree welcoming UCC Demons while Moycullen will make their way to the packed house of Garvey’s Tralee Warriors.

KUBS and Pyrobel Killester, meanwhile, will wait a few more days for their clash as they go head-to-head on October 10th.

In other news this week, the new arena at Waterford Institute of Technology was unveiled as the venue for the 2017/18 National League finals which will take place on March 24th, 2018, and will see the top four teams from men’s and women’s Super League and Division One do battle for the last trophy of the season.