Tough at the top as Mercy tackle leaders Liffey Celtics

Women take centre stage while Tralee welcome Killester in Men’s Super League

DCU Mercy coach Mark Ingle will be planning for Liffey Celtics this weekend Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

DCU Mercy coach Mark Ingle will be planning for Liffey Celtics this weekend Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

A top-of-the-table clash in the Women’s Super League is in store this weekend as second-placed DCU Mercy welcome league leaders Courtyard Liffey Celtics to DCU on Sunday afternoon.

Liffey Celtics lost their first game of the season last Sunday evening thanks to a stunning three-point shooting exhibition from Pyrobel Killester, which saw them win out 109-86 against the Cup champions. This result has made the battle at the top extremely interesting, with Liffey now on one loss and DCU Mercy sitting on their heels with three defeats.

Liffey have had the better of the sides’ meetings this year, overcoming DCU at home in their first clash in the league, before putting in a clinical performance against them in the National Cup semi-final in Cork. Revenge will certainly be on the cards for Mark Ingle’s DCU charges, though, and they will be hoping to defend their home court in style on Sunday afternoon.

Raging on in earnest

Elsewhere around the women’s league, the battle for crucial top slots is raging on in earnest. One of the other big clashes of the weekend sees the Cork derby meeting of Fr Mathews and Singleton SuperValu Brunell this Saturday, in what is a repeat of the Cup semi-final showdown in early January. Brunell got the better of that clash, but this weekend’s derby will undoubtedly come down to the wire between these two sides. NUIG Mystics meanwhile face off against Pyrobel Killester in Galway on Saturday and will be hoping to get some vital points on the board. A big battle will also tip off in Kilkenny this weekend as Marble City Hawks welcome Maxol WIT Wildcats while Ambassador UCC Glanmire will be hoping to maintain their spot on the table when they welcome IT Carlow Basketball to Cork on Saturday evening.

A big decider in the Men’s Super League will tip off in Tralee this weekend as Garvey’s Tralee Warriors host Pyrobel Killester in a huge clash at the Sports Complex. Tralee have played 12 games to date and have lost just four, to see them on the same loss record as league leaders, Templeogue, while Killester have lost five of their 13 games. The two sides most recently met in the Hula Hoops Cup semi-final in January, with Ciaran Roe delivering a polished 34-point performance for Killester to see them through that tie.

Chasing pack

Top-of-the-table Templeogue, meanwhile, will be hoping to banish Demons this weekend when they welcome the Cork side to Oblate Hall. The Dubliners, who have played 14 games so far this season, need to pick up the points from this clash in a bid to stay slightly ahead of the chasing pack, while UCC Demons also need a big performance this weekend in order to stay in the vital top six spot.

Elsewhere, UCD Marian will be hoping to keep momentum from last weekend’s win against Templegoue when they host Maree in Dublin on Saturday evening. Maree have proven to be a tough opponent for Marian recently, beating them in Oranmore in their last league meeting. C and S Neptune will welcome Belfast Star to Cork on Saturday, while Moycullen and DCU Saints go head-to-head in Galway.

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