Templeogue and Tralee face each other in hugely-anticipated showdown
DCU Saints will be aiming to make it four wins on the bounce as they travel to UCC Demons
Templeogue captain Stephen James: “It’s going to be a tough test for us, but we’ll have plenty of motivation after letting them get the better of us in the National Cup.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
The men’s sides met each other just over three weeks ago in the National Cup opening round, where Tralee caused the upset knocking the reigning Cup champions out of this year’s competition with a 103-92 point win.
Revenge is certainly on the cards for Mark Keenan and his squad, who bounced back to winning ways last weekend with a win over Killester to push them to second place on the table. Tralee, however, are just behind them in joint third place, and have added more depth to their roster this week with the announcement of newly-signed 6ft 8in power forward Keith Jumper to their squad.
Looking ahead to the match, Templeogue captain Stephen James said: “It’s going to be a tough test for us, but we’ll have plenty of motivation after letting them get the better of us in the National Cup. Last week’s win against Killester was a huge one for us to boost the moral and confidence, so we’ll be taking that into the game with us.
“Tralee have a lot of weapons and added to their roster so we’ll need to be at our best. But I think we need to put the focus on ourselves as we missed a few defensive assignments in our Cup game which really hurt us. So we’ll need to have a tough week of practice and make sure we’re clued in for Saturday night.”
Elsewhere around the league, DCU Saints will be aiming to make it four wins on the bounce as they travel to UCC Demons on Saturday evening. Demons come into the game off the back of a tough loss against UCD Marian on the road last weekend.
Marian, meanwhile, are also in Cork this weekend facing C and S Neptune, while Maree will welcome Killester and Swords Thunder host Moycullen.
Killorglin will face league leaders Belfast Star in a tough match-up, as the sides will also go head-to-head just one week later in Belfast in the Cup quarter-finals.
Over in the Women’s Super League, league leaders Courtyard Liffey Celtics will welcome an in-form Fr Mathews to Leixlip on Saturday night. Celtics are currently the only unbeaten team in the league after a hugely impressive start to the season, but Fr Mathews have two big wins under their belts in the last two weeks, and will be confident they can cause an upset.
DCU Mercy will welcome Killester on Sunday to the university. The reigning Cup champions will be pushing hard to get a win from the Dublin derby having dropped two games in the opening six this season. One of these losses came at the hands of current league leaders Celtics, but an emphatic bounce back last weekend against NUIG Mystics sees Mark Ingle’s charges ready for battle this coming Sunday.
Killester, meanwhile, will need to regroup after a loss at the death to Fr Mathews in Clontarf last weekend, losing out 70-72 to the Cork side to see them with three wins and three losses from their games to date.
Looking ahead to the clash, DCU and Irish international star Sarah Woods said: “We’re really looking forward to the match. Games against Killester are always hard-fought battles, so I expect this one to be no different. Killester are having a tough run of close games, so they will definitely be up for it.
“I think that our recent loss to Liffey Celtics has made us more hungry in our training, and with the solid team win against NUIG under our belt, we will be looking to build on that momentum and we’ll be ready to go.”
Elsewhere around the league, old rivalries will reignite for Ambassador UCC Glanmire this weekend as they welcome WIT Wildcats. It’s a bottom of the table clash as Marble City Hawks host NUIG Mystics – the latter still chasing their first win of the season – while IT Carlow Basketball travel to Brunell on Sunday.