Killester ready to ‘give everything they have’ against Tralee in Cup quarter-final
Reigning champions come into tought game on back of disappointing defeat
Pyrobel Killester’s Brian O’Malley: ‘We’ve been very inconsistent to date.’ Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
It’s Hula Hoops Cup quarter-final weekend across all four divisions this weekend with a number of big clashes in store around the country.
In the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup, one of the standout clashes is the meeting of reigning league champions Garvey’s Tralee Warriors and reigning cup champions Pyrobel Killester in Tralee on Saturday evening.
This is set to be big battle as there have been some interesting results between the two teams over the last few seasons. Killester knocked Warriors out at the semi-final stages of the cup in Cork last season and went on to win the competition. Just last month though, Tralee won out over the Dubliners 63-91 in Clontarf in the league – a result the reigning cup champions will be hoping to reverse this weekend when they travel to Tralee for the hugely anticipated rematch.
Killester come into the game off the back of a disappointing loss against Griffith College Templeogue in the league last Saturday to bring their record this season to 5-5. Despite carrying some injuries, the Dubliners will be hoping to bounce back strong this weekend and will need to be in top form to overcome Warriors at their home court.
Looking ahead to the game, Killester’s Brian O’Malley stated: “We’ve been very inconsistent to date – we’ve had some good results and then other games where we haven’t been at the races. We played Tralee in the IWA a few weeks ago, and they comprehensively won the game. Obviously, our injuries are far from ideal, but it’s National Cup, so whoever is fit we just have to run with it and give everything we have – it will take nothing less.”
Tralee meanwhile sit joint top of the league table with a 7-3 record so far this season, but they certainly won’t be taking anything for granted against Killester this weekend, and will need to improve on their opening quarter performance from last weekend (which saw them trailing Lions 31-13), in order to keep Brian O’Malley’s charges at bay.
Tralee’s Pat Price stated: “Killester will be a huge task for us this weekend, as evidenced in last year’s semi finals. They’re a well-coached, experienced side who have now bolstered their line up with two terrific signings. We’re going to have to play very well from the tip to get past the defending cup champions.”
In the other quarter-finals meanwhile, one of the other big showdowns of the weekend sees the meeting of Belfast Star and DBS Éanna in Belfast on Saturday evening. The sides have met in the league already this season, with Belfast Star taking the win on that occasion. Star also boast a clean record in their home court so far this year, but will need to be on top form to keep a strong Éanna side at bay.
Elsewhere, Templeogue will be hoping to avenge their recent league loss to Moycullen when they host the Galway outfit in the big knockout clash this Saturday evening, while DCU Saints and Coughlan C&S Neptune face off in the last quarter-final showdown.
It’s also crunch time in the Women’s Hula Hoops Paudie O’Connor Cup this weekend, with four big quarter-finals battles getting under way around the country.
With reigning champions, Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics knocked out of this year’s competition, a new name will be etched on this year’s cup and the competition is seriously heating up. The 2018 National Cup champions, DCU Mercy, will be hoping to take a step forward on to the semi-finals in Cork this season, but face a tricky test in IT Carlow Basketball in their quarter-final showdown this weekend.
Despite the fact that DCU sit top of the table with a 7-1 record, Carlow have been improving week on week, and Americans Kaitlyn Slagus and Alyssa Velles in particular have been causing other teams big problems. DCU will need to lock these both down in order to march on to the next round.