National Cup semi-finals see big Cork derby of Brunell and Fr Mathews
Men’s Super League games will tip off at the Mardyke Arena UCC with game between UCD Marian and Belfast Star
Marian were runners-up in last year’s cup, losing out to Templeogue in the final, and will be hoping to nab the cup this time around. Photograph: Getty Images
The National Cup semi-finals will take centre stage in Cork this weekend, with 20 clashes taking place across three days at Neptune Stadium and the Mardyke Arena UCC.
The women’s semi-finals have teed up some huge games, with a big Cork derby getting things under way on Friday evening, the highlight of the two derby games being the Super League meeting of Brunell and Fr Mathews at 8.30pm. Nothing separated these two sides in their last clash, with Mathews just pipping it by two points. Mathews have some cup experience behind them having won the Women’s Division One Cup last year.They also have the experience of cup specialists Gráinne and Niamh Dwyer and Chantell Alford behind them.
Yet Brunell are well used to cup semi-final showdowns and Cork showdowns under pressure, but having fallen at this stage to Glanmire over the past two years. They will be hoping to go one step better this year.
On the other side of the draw DCU Mercy and Courtyard Liffey Celtics are set to dish up a thriller on Saturday evening in their semi-final battle. They have met each other in the last two years in the cup, with Liffey winning the semi-final in 2017, and DCU winning the quarter-final battle for the 2018 cup that saw them go on to win the title.
Meanwhile, both men’s Super League games will tip off on Saturday at the Mardyke Arena UCC, with UCD Marian and Belfast Star getting the games under way at 4pm.
Marian were runners-up in last year’s cup, losing out to Templeogue in the final, and will be hoping to nab that elusive cup this time around.
Star will appear in their first cup semi-final since 2003. Back then Adrian Fulton was one of the star players on court, but this time around he is head coach while his son CJ lines out for Star.
Tralee Warriors and Killester will face off at 8pm in what is set to be another ding-dong battle for glory, and no doubt the Mardyke will be packed to the rafters for this clash.
Elsewhere, Portlaoise Panthers boast four teams in the semi-finals across the men’s and women’s games; Liffey Celtics have three teams; while Tradehouse Central Ballincollig will be aiming to retain their President’s Cup title in what is set to be a thrilling few days of basketball.