The Women's Super League and Division One seasons get underway this weekend with a number of big clashes in store.
One of the most-anticipated games of the weekend sees the meeting of reigning league and Cup champions, Liffey Celtics, and long-time rivals, DCU Mercy in Leixlip on Saturday evening.
Both teams boast new faces this season, with Liffey welcoming Kate O’Flaherty and the American pair Darby Maggard and Kylee Smith to their roster. They also have a new coach in Laura Mullally, who is replacing Mark Byrne in the role.
DCU Mercy also boast two new Americans in Meredith Burkhall and Ashley Russell, also welcoming some Irish international talent into their roster in Hannah Thornton and Maeve Phelan.
Elsewhere, newly-promoted Maree welcome Ambassador UCC Glanmire for their first Super League game of the year. Maree will be without the services of Dayna Finn this season, but have been bolstered by the addition of American Carly McClendon.
Glanmire also welcome two new Americans in Tatum Neubert and Shrita Parker and will be hoping to get their season off to a winning start.
Pyrobel Killester, meanwhile, are home this weekend as part of a women’s and men’s Super League double header, and they host Singleton SuperValu Brunell in their opening Women’s Super League clash.
Killester come in to the game with American Christa Reed back into the roster for another year, along with American Adella El Randle who featured for Glanmire last season.
Elsewhere, old rivals Marble City Hawks and Fr Mathews go head-to-head in Kilkenny on Saturday evening in what’s set to be another great battle, while IT Carlow Basketball host Maxol WIT Wildcats on Sunday afternoon in the final Super League game of the weekend.
Over in Division One meanwhile, there are two new teams in this year’s League with Griffith College Templeogue and Tipperary Knights joining the national league for the first time. Templeogue will get their season underway with a big Dublin derby against Swords Thunder, while Knights have a weekend off.
In the Men’s Super League, one of the big clashes of the weekend sees the meeting of Garvey’s Tralee Warriors and Belfast Star in Kerry on Saturday evening.
Warriors come into the game off the back of a one-point loss against UCD Marian in the opening round, while Belfast Star took home a memorable overtime win against Griffith College Templeogue at home last weekend.
Elsewhere, Abbey Seal Dublin Lions are hoping to get their first win of the year as they travel across town to face DCU Saints, who lost out to Pyrobel Killester last weekend.
Speaking of Killester, they host Moycullen in the IWA Clontarf on Saturday night, while DBS Éanna are hoping to continue their winning ways in the Super League when they host Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin in Dublin.
The last game of the weekend sees Maree and Coughlan C&S Neptune go head-to-head, with both Templeogue and UCD Marian having a weekend off.