St Vincent's have momentum


BASKETBALL: The National Cup quarter-finals take place this weekend with the tie of the round taking place in the Mardyke on Sunday afternoon when defending champions UCC Demons take on high-flying St Vincent's.

St Vincent's came through a difficult first-round tie when they defeated last year's runners-up, Star of the Sea.

With Erik Brown and Jermaine Turner combining well with the in-form Donnelly brothers, David and Emmet, Joey Boland's side may yet spring another surprise.

Neptune will hope to put an end to their three-game losing streak when they square up to fellow Southern Conference strugglers Waterford in Cork.

With a clean bill of health and having enjoyed a 20-point victory over Waterford earlier this season, Neptune can be considered strong favourites.

Waterford's poor season has led to American Tony Atchison being replaced this week by Frank Wilkins, a 6ft 9ins forward and graduate of St Joseph's Philadelphia. He is set to start tomorrow evening.

Robert Grant continues to struggle with an arm injury after missing last weekend's clash against UCC Demons, but he's expected to be passed fit.

Ballina, the only non-Superleague side left in the competition, will look to continue their giant-killing exploits when they host Killester. Key player Joe McLean is unavailable for the western team and will be replaced by the 6ft 9ins Milo Brooks, who played in the French league last season. His performance and that of John Larrimore will be vital.

Killester are proving a real force since the addition of Keith Friel and have now recorded four straight victories. Paddy Kelly begins exams on Monday morning and may be unavailable for the trip to Mayo.

In the last quarter-final Limerick would be slight favourites to see off the Killarney Lakers.

Limerick's Randy Fletcher is receiving physiotherapy on a leg injury he suffered in the Castleisland tournament over the Christmas, where they were beaten in the final by Tralee.

They will also have to do without former junior international Kevin O'Connor after he broke his finger in training this week.

Meanwhile, there is one Superleague match tomorrow as UCD Marian play Shamrock Rovers in the all-Dublin affair at Belfield.


SATURDAY: Men's Superleague: UCD Marian v Shamrock Rovers, UCD, 7.10.

National Cup: Men's quarter-finals: Neptune v Waterford, Neptune, 8.0; Ballina v Killester, Ballina SC, 8.0; Limerick v Killarney Lakers, UL, 7.30.

National Cup: Women's quarter-finals: St Paul's v Drimnagh Dynamos, Presentation, 3.0; Galway v Wildcats, Renmore, 5.0; Glanmire v University of Limerick, Littleisland, 7.30. Killester v Meteors, Tolka Rovers, 8.0.

SUNDAY: Men's quarter-final: UCC Demons St Vincent's, Mardyke, 3.15.