16 November 2023

~8 minutes read

FloMAX Liffey Celtics with chance to go top of MissQuote.ie Super League

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FloMAX Liffey Celtics with chance to go top of MissQuote.ie Super League

The MissQuote.ie Super League returns with a bang following the international break this weekend.

Gurranabraher Credit Union Brunell’s bye week gives FloMAX Liffey Celtics the chance to take top spot in the table for themselves, if they continue their unbeaten start against Catalyst Fr.Mathews.

The Kildare outfit had three players in James Weldon’s Ireland squad, but the majority haven’t played meaningful minutes since October 30th and Rachel Huijsdens picked up an injury in the build-up to the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket qualifier with France that could keep her out. On the flip side, Catalyst Fr. Mathews arrive in Leixlip on the back of a four-game winning streak in league and cup, full of confidence in the knowledge that inflicting a first defeat of the season on Karl Kilbride and company will see them move as high as fourth.

Killester and SETU Waterford Wildcats lead the pack chasing the top two, only wins over Ulster University and DCU Mercy will be good enough for them to stay in touch. The latter pair are each looking to end a run that sees them winless since the start of October and with the window into the top four closing fast, they are getting into must win territory if they are to keep their MissQuote.ie Super League ambitions alive.

At the other end of the table, wins have been like gold dust for University of Galway Mystics and Portlaoise Panthers so far this campaign. The Panthers did get off the mark against DCU Mercy last time out though and despite losing out in the opening round of the Paudie O’Connor Cup, that wining feeling should remain fresh in the memory.

“I think both teams will be looking forward to it because of what’s at stake,” said Portlaoise head coach Niall Berry. “They have that bit more experience in the league and you can see that in how they play. We’re hoping our hard work will start gaining us the results we deserve, starting this weekend.”

Kara McCleane returns to the west after earning her first senior Ireland cap, looking to put that experience to good use for her club. McCleane has made a huge mark on the MissQuote.ie Super League in the absence of a professional in Mystics’ ranks and her head coach Paul O’Brien thinks their reward is just around the corner. “We aren’t happy with our record currently, but we feel we have been playing much better as the weeks have gone on,” said O’Brien. “Not having a pro has obviously affected our team, but our young Irish players have really stepped up and played at a high level.”

The Address UCC Glanmire can secure back to back wins for the first time this season and close the gap on the top four with a home win over Trinity Meteors. Hillary Netsiyanwa takes his young team on the road to Cork knowing a win for them on Sunday will move them ahead of the defending champions and into fifth place should results go their way elsewhere.

 

InsureMyVan.ie Super League

The Ireland men’s coaching ticket go head-to-head for the first time this season in week seven of the InsureMyVan.ie Super League.

Mark Keenan and Adrian Fulton could barely be in more contrasting positions. Fulton and Belfast Star sit atop the North Conference, unbeaten in six with a Pat Duffy Cup quarter-final on the horizon. Meanwhile Templeogue endured their fifth defeat of the year by five points or less while being knocked out in the opening round of the cup and picked up their only InsureMyVan.ie Super League win on September 30th.

The addition of Zo Tyson from UCC Demons has given Keenan another weapon, but he knows that they have to start converting performances into wins. “We have given ourselves opportunities to win every game we’ve played this season,” said Keenan. He’s also acutely aware of the threat posed by Belfast Star’s potent offense. “Adrian has assembled a great team this year. They have strength and depth in every position, so it’s going to take a huge performance from us to get over the line.”

“Templeogue are in such a false position,” quipped Fulton. “They have had a very tough schedule but I’m sure they will be in the playoff hunt come March.” On his own side’s current form, he added: “We are in the middle of a brutal fixture schedule but all we can do is face up to the next challenge. Thankfully we are at home. Our home crowd have amazing again this season and we have a great record in De La Salle.”

Killester and Griffith College Éanna are both on the road against teams at the wrong end of their respective conferences right now, EJ Sligo All-Stars and Flexachem KCYMS, as they look to maintain their grip on second and third spot in the North Conference. Flexachem KCYMS head coach Michael McGinn is dealing with the loss of the impactful RJ Kelly from his squad by bringing in forward Gage Smith.

The final North Conference matchup has Ulster University making the trip to North Dublin to take on Bright St. Vincents. For the home side it’s another opportunity of a maiden victory of the campaign while Ryan McCormick will be eyeing up a return to .500 and a two game lead in the hunt for the playoffs.

Either Maree BC and Irish Guide Dogs Ballincollig @MTU will cement top spot in the South Conference at the final buzzer of their first meeting of the season in the Kingfisher. Both are 5-1 but enter the game on the back of two contrasting Pat Duffy Cup experiences.

The defending champions Maree relinquished their grip on that piece of silverware at the hands of another Cork side UCC Demons, while Ciaran O’Sullivan managed to eek out a second win over Templeogue on the road and advance. There’s also the small matter of avenging defeat for last season’s InsureMyVan.ie Super League final defeat on the menu for Maree head coach Charlie Crowley and their fan base in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.

Energywise Ireland Neptune can leapfrog Garvey’s Tralee Warriors into the playoff spots by making home advantage count on Saturday evening. Each had confidence boosting wide margin wins in the first round of the cup and with both teams knowing one another as well as they do, it’s likely to go down to the wire at Neptune Stadium also.

Sunday’s only InsureMyVan.ie Super League game sees UCC Demons make the trip to Maigh Cuilinn. The hosts might count themselves unlucky not to advance in the Pat Duffy Cup last time out and their league form has been improving as the season progresses, so Danny O’Mahony won’t be taking the challenge that lies ahead for granted in spite of the 1-5 record of the Galway side.

 

Fixtures

MissQuote.ie Super League

Saturday November 18th

University of Galway Mystics v Portlaoise Panthers, Kingfisher Sports Arena, 1600

Killester v Ulster University, IWA Clontarf, 1800

FloMAX Liffey Celtics v Catalyst Fr. Mathews, Leixlip Amenities Centre, 1900

 

Sunday November 19th

DCU Mercy v SETU Waterford Wildcats, DCU Arena, 1430

The Address UCC Glanmire v Trinity Meteors, Mardyke Arena, 1430

 

InsureMyVan.ie Super League

Saturday November 18th

Belfast Star v Templeogue, De La Salle College, 1830

Energywise Ireland Neptune v Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, Neptune Stadium, 1830

Bright St.Vincents v Ulster University, St. Vincents CBS, 1900

Maree BC v Irish Guide Dogs Ballincollig @MTU, Kingfisher Sports Arena, 1900

Flexachem KCYMS v Griffith College Éanna, Killorglin Sports Complex, 1915

EJ Sligo All-Stars v Killester, Mercy College, 1930

 

Sunday November 19th

Maigh Cuilinn v UCC Demons, Kingfisher Sports Arena, 1500

 

MissQuote.ie Division One

Saturday November 18th

St. Pauls Killarney v Phoenix Rockets, Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre 1630

Limerick Sport Huskies v Templeogue, UL Arena, 1700

Moy Tolka Rovers v McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles, Tolka Rovers Sports Complex, 1700

Abbey Seals Dublin Lions v Marble City Hawks, Coláiste Bride, 1730

Oblate Dynamos v SETU Carlow, Oblate Hall, 1900

 

Sunday November 19th

iSecure Swords Thunder v Limerick Celtics, ALSAA, 1600

 

InsureMyVan.ie Division One

Saturday November 18th

SETU Carlow v Joels Dublin Lions, Barrow Centre, 1400

UCD Marian v Drogheda Wolves, UCD Sports Centre, 1900

Mater Private Malahide v Team NorthWest, Malahide Community School, 1900

Killarney Cougars v Titans BC, Presentation Gym, 1900

Limerick Sport Eagles v SETU Waterford Vikings, UL Arena, 1915

Moy Tolka Rovers v Kavanagh’s Portlaoise Panthers, Tolka Rovers Spors Complex, 1930

Scotts Lakers Killarney v Limerick Celtics, Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre, 1930

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