There will be a new winner of this year's Women's Hula Hoops National Cup as Courtyard Liffey Celtics overcame reigning Hula Hoops Cup champions, DCU Mercy, 51-71 to book their place in the final against Singleton SuperValu Brunell.
Allie LeClaire and Briana Green were the standouts for the Kildare side who continued their unbeaten league form into this weekend’s Cup clash to book their spot in their first Cup final appearance since 2017.
The second quarter is where the damage was done leaving DCU with a mountain to climb after the break with Green and LeClaire dominating, finishing the quarter on 14 and 12 points respectively, to see them into a commanding 26-41 point lead and truly they didn’t look back from there, running out 51-71 point winners in the end.
Speaking afterwards, Liffey Celtics’ Aine O’Connor said: "We’re absolutely thrilled. We all went out and played really, really well. I know we were undefeated coming into today, but there’s a lot of pressure on the Cup and on this game so now we’re really looking forward to Brunell in the final.
"Last year we were very disappointed – we lost to DCU in the first round in a close game so we’re really looking forward to it now.
In the Men’s National Cup, Ciaran Roe was the name on everyone’s lips, after a stunning 34-point display from the Irish international saw him send his Killester side home to a 76-70 point win over Garvey’s Tralee Warriors.
Killester dominated the early exchanges, driving in to a 29-13 point lead by the end of the first, and were still looking comfortable at half time, up 43-32.
Warriors were far from done though, and they began chipping away at Killester’s lead as the third ticked down, with Fergal O’Sullivan and Keith Jumper driving the comeback, but big defense from Luis Filiberto Garcia Hoyos kept some space on the scoreboard going into the last, with Killester leading 56-48.
Quarter four was truly the story of the point guards, with Paul Dick lighting up the court for Tralee, pulling his team back into the game bit by bit, and with seven points in a row from the Tralee talisman, the game was back in the melting pot.
A huge stop from Hoyos with 22 seconds to go had the crowd on its feet, but a steal and score from Warriors saw it at a two-point game with just under 15 seconds to go.
Ciaran Roe stepped up to the challenge though and, with ice in his veins, sent Killester home to glory with superb shooting from the free throw line at the death.
Meanwhile, it was a memorable day for last year’s Cup finalists, UCD Marian, who are also winging their way back to the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght following a resounding 91-63 point win over Belfast Star.
UCD drove home to glory thanks to big displays from Mike Garrow, Conor Meany and Mariusz Markowicz who laid down a statement of intent from early on. Marian took the reins of the game firmly in hand to open up a 22-14 point lead by the end of the first, and by half time, they were 50-37 points to the good.
Star’s Mike Davis, Conor Quinn and Sergio Vidal were huge for Belfast into the second, but the gap was just too big to overcome for Star and they bowed out to a hugely experienced and extremely hungry Marian.