/ Basketball

Eagles bid for follow up over Eagles

Updated: Thursday, 16 Feb 2012 12:52

UL Eagles celebrated Cup success a fortnight ago
UL Eagles celebrated Cup success a fortnight ago

There will be a repeat of the Men’s SuperLeague National Cup final at the Mardyke Arena on Friday when UCC Demons and UL Eagles go head to head.

Demons will complete their busy weekend when the host UCD Marian at the same venue on Sunday.

UL Eagles also have a busy weekend as they get ready for to welcome northern conference leaders DCU Saints to the UL Arena on Saturday.

Belfast Star, fresh from their surprise win over 11890 Killester, will be favourites to see off Moycullen at Anderstown.

11890 Killester will be hoping to bounce back from the Star defeat but Bord Gais Neptune are sure to test their credentials at Clontarf.

In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, DCU Mercy will be bidding to avenge their recent National Cup Final defeat to UL when they travel to Limerick to play the champions.

Team Montenotte will be looking to continue their title charge against Meteors and Waterford Wildcats should have too much firepower for Ulster Rockets.

Basement side Liffey Celtics face a tough test away to 11890 Killester and Singletons Supervalu Brunell have an opportunity to get maximum points when they host Oblate Dynamos.

UL Eagles were given no chance by many pundits in their recent final against UCC Demons and they will have another opportunity to repeat that feat at the Mardyke.

Demons were impressive in their win last week over DCU Saints and coach Paul Kelleher is hoping for more of the same against the newly crowned cup champions.

"Our sole focus is Friday night which is crucial in the league standings and a victory could prove vital for either side,” said Kelleher.

The good news for Demons is that Niall Murphy, Kyle Hosford, Shane Duggan and Danny O’Mahony will all return after missing the Saints game.

“We have been working all week to improve our performance against Eagles and despite a few injuries, I believe we will get things right this weekend.”

For UL, it represents another opportunity to claim a notable victory.

“Demons will be looking to overturn the cup result and we are determined to prove that our victory was well justified,” said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan,

"There is no question that we have a tough test ahead of us and our focus will be directed on slowing down the scoring from American Shawn Atupem."

“However, a win will enable us to keep up the pressure on Neptune in the league table.”

It’s going to be a busy weekend for the two Munster clubs as UL face DCU Saints on Saturday at the UL Arena with Demons welcoming UCD Marian to their home base on Sunday.

Saints will welcome back Martin Provisors and Emmet Donnelly as coach David Donnelly hopes his side can bounce back in style.

"To be honest I thought we were flat in defence at times against Demons and UL who defeated us on our home court earlier in the season will certainly put it up to us," David said.

Belfast Star, who defeated 11890 Killester after double overtime, host Moycullen hoping to chalk up their second consecutive win.

"We needed that win against Killester and hopefully the guys will show the same attitude against Moycullen," said Star coach Danny Fulton.

11890 Killester, still reeling from the Star defeat, host Bord Gais Neptune at Clontarf hoping for a far better performance.

"When Darren took over, we set out our stall and to win a trophy was part of that, we were so unlucky to lose in the cup semi final against UL Eagles and through inconsistency we have lost games that we were coasting in so that is something that we must put right,” said Killester Centre Mike Westbrooks.

The Bord Gais Neptune coach Mark Scannell is determined to get the win that will keep his side in the mix for the southern conference title.

"It’s an important game,” said Neptune head coach Mark Scannell. “We have 11890 Killester and DCU Saints in Dublin and I think we need at least one win out of those two games to ensure we maintain the pressure on UCC Demons in the Southern Conference.

"Jermaine (Turner) has been a big thorn in our side this season and it’s important we keep close tabs on him."

The big game in the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague is the clash between UL and DCU Mercy at the UL Arena.

UL proved too strong in the last two encounters, including the recent National Cup Finals but Head Coach James Weldon is warning his side against complacency.

"I watched DCU Mercy against Team Montenotte last weekend and they put up 70 points and looked very good," said UL head coach James Weldon.

"We need to show the same intensity that we produced in the final. Mercy will have a point to prove so we must be cautious."

The DCU Mercy coach Mark Ingle was mystified about his teams cup final performance but was delighted they have bounced back with two wins since that defeat.

"We are looking to improve on our cup final display against UL,” said Mercy Head Coach Ingle.

"If we win it changes the whole picture but it’s an extremely difficult assignment and particularly with the game being in UL."

Ulster Rockets had a long awaited win last week and they will be hoping for a similar performance when they travel to play Waterford Wildcats.

“We are improving and Wildcats are sure to test our resolve so we will need to be focused on the job in hand,” said the Rockets coach Breda Dick.

11890 Killester showed enough battling qualities against Team Montenotte to suggest that they can gain maximum points against basement side Liffey Celtics.

Team Montenotte will be desperate for a quick response against Dublin side Meteors after suffering a heavy loss to DCU Mercy in their last outing.

“We will have to start sharing the ball better and a win is a must against Meteors if we are to be in with a chance of getting a home playoff semi final spot," said Montenotte coach Cormac O’Donoghue.

Singletons Supervalu Brunell suffered a 30 points defeat to UL last weekend and have a chance to redeem themselves when they entertain Oblate Dynamos.