UCC Demons ready for the physical test from UL Eagles

 

BASKETBALL:UCC DEMONS can take a step closer to reaching a third consecutive National Cup final if they can emerge from their daunting quarter-final away to UL Eagles tomorrow night. The Cork giants claimed the cup as part of a treble in 2009 before they suffered a heavy defeat to Killester at the final stage a year later.

“The cup games are different types of games than the league and usually the atmosphere is different and the team that handles it the best will come out on top,” said UCC Demons head coach Paul Kelleher. “UL have a big physical team with a wealth of experience and I’m sure they will be looking to take advantage of their physical presence.”

UL Eagles are desperate for a long-awaited return to the last four of Ireland’s premier cup competition and are boosted by a full-strength squad.

UCD Marian can make their second successive appearance in a cup semi-final if they can record their second win over DCU Saints in the space of a week. UCD are bolstered by the return of Barry Glover from injury, while DCU Saints are likely to feature a new player in Pat Crean this weekend as the club seek to provide cover for the injured Mike Trimmer.

Ulster Elks may have to prepare for their massive all-Ulster affair with Belfast Star without the services of Kevin Foley and Ciarán MacEvilly. Star are at full strength and welcome Scott Summersgill and Michael McKillop back.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s SuperLeague National Cup quarter-finals, reigning champions DCU Mercy face a huge test at home to UL, while last season’s beaten finalists, Team Montenotte, Hotel Cork face their second trip in a week to Meteors.

Killester will be hoping their latest clash with Black Forge Oblate Dynamos will result in a better outcome than their last encounter, where they suffered a slender 48-46 defeat.

UL can finally give New Zealand star Natalie Taylor her debut on Sunday, but there is a huge doubt over Britain’s Rachel Vanderwal, while Rhiannon McNulty (ankle) is ruled out.

FIXTURES

TONIGHT – Men’s Under-20 National Cup Quarter-final:Maree (Galway) v Templeogue (Dublin), Calasanctius College, 8:30; Neptune (Cork) v Killester (Dublin), Neptune Stadium, 8:30.

SATURDAY – Men’s SuperLeague Cup Quarter-final:UCD Marian (Dublin) v DCU Saints (Dublin), Greendale Community Centre, 8:0; UL Eagles (Limerick) v UCC Demons (Cork), UL Arena, 7:30. Senior Men’s Cup Quarter-final: UCD Marian (Dublin) v Team Garvey’s St Mary’s (Castleisland, Kerry), Greendale Community Centre, 5:30; Malahide (Dublin) v St Vincent’s (Dublin), Malahide Community School, 7:15; Titans (Galway) v Maree (Galway), Renmore Community Centre, 8:0.

Senior Women’s Cup Quarter-final:Ballyshannon (Donegal) v UL (Limerick), Coláiste Choilmcille Ballyshannon, 5:0.

Women’s Under-20 National Cup Quarter-final:Swords (Dublin) v St Mary’s (Castleisland, Kerry), Alsaa Complex, 3:30; Liffey Celtics (Dublin) v Tralee Imperials (Kerry), Leixlip Amenities Centre, 5:0; Glanmire (Cork) v Killester (Dublin), Little Island Community Centre, 7:30.

Men’s Under-18 National Cup Quarter-final:Killester (Dublin) v Ballincollig (Cork), St Fintan’s High School, 4:0; Tolka Rovers (Dublin) v Maree (Galway), Tolka Rovers Sports Complex, 5:30.

Women’s Under-18 National Cup Quarter-final:St Joseph’s (Abbeyfeale, Limerick) v Waterford Wildcats (Waterford), Athea Community Centre, 3:0.

SUNDAY – Men’s SuperLeague Cup Quarter-final:Ulster Elks (Belfast) v Belfast Star (Belfast), University of Ulster HPC, 2:30.

Women’s SuperLeague Cup Quarter-final:Meteors (Dublin) v Team Montenotte Hotel Cork (Cork), Coláiste Eoin/Iosagain, 3:30; DCU Mercy (Dublin) v UL (Limerick), DCU Sports Complex, 3:30, Killester (Dublin) v Black Forge Oblate Dynamos (Dublin), IWA Clontarf, 7:0. Senior Men’s Cup Quarter-final: Blue Demons (Cork) v CHM Ballon (Dublin), Mardyke Arena, 3:15.

Senior Women’s Cup Quarter-final:Ulster Rockets (Belfast) v St Mary’s, UU Jordanstown, 11:45; Tralee Imperials (Kerry) v Thurles Knights (Tipperary), Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, 5:0; Meteors (Dublin) v Liffey Celtics (Dublin), Coláiste Eoin/Iosagain, 6:0.

Men’s Under-20 National Cup Quarter-final:Tolka Rovers (Dublin) v Blue Demons (Cork), Tolka Rovers Sports Complex, 2:30; Swords (Dublin) v Ballincollig (Cork), Alsaa Complex, 15:30.

Men’s Under-18 National Cup Quarter-final:Templeogue (Dublin) v Moycullen (Galway), St Catherine’s Marrowbone Lane, 12:30; St Mary’s (Castleisland) v Neptune (Cork), Castleisland Community Centre, 3:0.

Women’s Under-18 National Cup Quarter-finalMeteors (Dublin) v Brunell (Cork), Coláiste Eoin/Iosagain, 1:0; Claregalway (Galway) v Carrigaline (Cork), Claregalway, 3:30.