Preview: Super League and Division 1 double header and round 3 of Super League and Division 1

In attendance at the National Basketball Arena for the National League launch and sponsorship announcement are from left, Bailey Greenberg and Hannah Thornton of DCU Mercy, with Conor Quinn and James Claar of Belfast Star, at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin. The men's Super League and Division One were renamed the Super League and Division One. The women's Super League and Division One is now called Super League and Division One. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Four teams in Super League aim to keep unbeaten runs

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig will be looking to make it three wins from three in their debut Super League campaign, as they take on NUIG Maree. Kieran O’Sullivan’s side have picked up wins over C&S Neptune and Team 360 Financial Killorglin so far. “We are very much looking forward playing in front of a full house at home for the first time, the lads are preparing hard, and we know Maree will be a big challenge, one that we are looking forward to. We have been happy with our unbeaten run, but the players know they need to improve their performance each week,” O’Sullivan said.

NUIG Maree lost at C&S Neptune last time out, head coach Charlie Crowley gave his assessment ahead of their upcoming game. “We’ve got another match against a strong Ballincollig team. We’ve seen them enough now to recognise how strong they’re going to be. They’re 2-0 against two difficult opponents. They’ve got great coaches and great players, along with the home venue, so we will need to be at our best if we’re to get something out of this game.”

“We’re quite disappointed with ourselves that we didn’t come away with the win last weekend. We did a lot of things right for three quarters, but we didn’t finish strongly and that’s ultimately what cost us. If we can improve on last week’s performance and play the right way for longer periods of time we’ll be in with a shot this weekend.”

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are also two wins from two, having picked up an impressive 84-81 road success in Moycullen. They host C&S Neptune on Saturday, who will buoyed by their 92-78 win over NUIG Maree last time out.

C&S Neptune player/coach Colin O’Reilly feels the team are building nicely. “Our coaches Darren and Craig have spent the week going further into detail of or play and we feel we are making good improvements each week. As a group there is a nice bit of excitement after last week’s win, but we know it’s still early days in our evolution, so patience is a key for us also.”

Griffith College Templeogue, are also unbeaten, they head to De La Salle to take on Belfast Star. Belfast Star had a dramatic 73-72 win at Killester in round two, head coach Adrian Fulton gave his thoughts ahead of the test against Griffith College Templeogue. “Templeogue have started very well, despite dealing with some injuries and the loss of DJ Mitchell. It’s always a massive challenge playing against such a talented and experienced side. Our games over the last few years have always been close encounters and I’m sure Saturday night will be no different. We are hoping to build on a good away win last weekend, but we will have to improve our performance if we are going to get the win.”

UCD Marian, the fourth of the teams with two wins from two travelled to Killester on Thursday night.

In the second Dublin derby of round 3, DBS Éanna host Bright DCU Saints on Saturday. Darren McGovern’s side were edged 85-82 by Griffith College Templeogue and he’s looking for a response from his players. “We are looking for a big reaction after last weekend. DCU pose a big problem inside for us, after losing Tolu (Antonio) and (Stefan) Desnica in the last two game days. I’m looking forward to a packed Colaiste Éanna on Saturday.”

Bright DCU Saints are seeking their maiden win of the campaign. “Éanna are a very strong team and well organised. We will be looking to get a better start then we did last weekend”, head coach is Gareth Winders said.

“We finished strongly against UCD Marian and were unfortunate not to get the win in the end. We have continued to improve week-on-week. Éanna are at home and coming off a loss last weekend, so no doubt their fans will want to see a good performance from them and this will add to the atmosphere of the game.”

Team 360 Financial Killorglin host Moycullen, both sides are seeking to notch their first wins of the season. Team 360 Financial Killorglin’s Declan Wall said: “Training has gone well again this week. The group are positive, as we felt the performance against Ballincollig was an improvement from week one, and felt we could have got the win, but unfortunately a few turnovers down the stretch cost us when we were ahead. This week against Moycullen poses another tough encounter, but we really feel our guys are beginning to understand what we want from them from week to week, and hopefully Saturday night can be our first win of the season and use it as a stepping stone going forward.”

Moycullen head coach John Cunningham added: “The league looks very balanced at this early stage. We’re 0-2 but could easily be 2-0. Killorglin is a unique and challenging venue and they have plenty of quality again this year. Allan Thomas is a real handful and a tough match-up for us, given our struggles with (Aaron) Calixte from Tralee last week. We’ve prepped well though and are looking forward to the game.”

In the Super League, it’s a double header weekend. The Address UCC Glanmire are the current leaders on points difference and face Killester on Saturday, followed by Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics on Monday.

“It’s going to be a really tough weekend, we play two of the best teams in Killester and then Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics. Three games in eight days will test everyone, so we need to take one game at a time and hope we’ve prepared well”, head coach Mark Scannell stated.

Defending champions DCU Mercy have two games in two days, they host Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s on Sunday, followed by a trip to Cork on Monday to take on Singleton Supervalu Brunell. Head coach Mark Ingle is looking forward to the challenge: “We have a big weekend ahead with games against St Mary’s home on Sunday, and Brunell away on Monday. A tough double header that will test our resources this weekend.”

For Singleton Supervalu Brunell, they travel to Fr. Mathews for a local derby before their game with DCU Mercy. Tim O’Halloran Singleton Supervalu Brunell knows the task at hand will be a difficult one for his side. “I’m really looking forward to what’s going to be a very tough weekend for us, as we play two very good teams in Fr. Mathews and DCU. I’m also excited as it will give myself and the girls a good indication as to where we are right now as a team.”

After facing DCU Mercy, Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s host Trinity Meteors, their head coach Liam Culloty, assessed his team’s fixtures. “We are looking forward to the challenge of playing back-to-back this weekend. Every game is a learning curve for us, so we hoping to maintain the high standards we set ourselves last weekend. Hopefully everyone pulls through injury free before the first round of the ( National) Cup the following weekend.”

WIT Waterford Wildcats will be looking to build on last week’s victory over Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics this weekend, when they face Trinity Meteors away on Saturday, followed by IT Carlow at home on the Bank Holiday Monday. Head coach Tommy O’Mahony gave his thoughts ahead of busy weekend schedule. “Big weekend ahead for a lot of teams, including ourselves. This weekend will really shake up the league, as a lot of teams are just finding their feet from a long layoff. We are coming up against two tough teams, and we know we need to be at our best in order to compete and be in with a chance.”

Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics are away at IT Carlow on Saturday, followed by the early game on Bank Holiday Monday, tipping off at 1200 against The Address UCC Glanmire. Their head coach, Yiannis Liapakis, was unhappy after defeat to WIT Waterford Wildcats and sees the weekend as an opportunity to make amends .”After a very poor and embarrassing performance last Saturday we’re getting ready and we hope to bounce back this Saturday in Carlow. We have a double header this weekend, but unfortunately we’re not having the time to prepare for both games, so we’re focusing only for Saturday’s game against Carlow! It’s going to be a very tough game and we’re hoping for the best.”

Killester face two Cork-based sides this weekend, The Address UCC Glanmire away and Fr. Mathews at home in Dublin. Killester head coach Karl Kilbride knows it’s going to be a challenge. “We’ve got a really tough weekend ahead. Glanmire are probably the overwhelming favourites to win everything this year and with the new American girl Carrie Shephard, they’ve brought in for the weekend, they’re probably that bit stronger again.

“Going down there is always a tough ask. But our performance last week was much improved from the week before. We’ve had a good week in practice and we’ll be going down looking to keep that improvement going. The fact that we play each other in the ( National) Cup the following week adds another little element to it and will be in the backs of people’s minds, but we’re going down looking for a performance this weekend and hopefully the result will follow.

“Monday brings another really tough game against Fr. Mathews. They’re probably a little disappointed with their start to the league. I think they’re a actually a lot better than their record suggests. On paper, they’re as good as anyone in the league, they’re really well coached and we know they’ll be coming to the IWA with a chip on their shoulder on Monday looking to prove a point. Obviously Aisling McCann, a Killester stalwart, is in Cork for the year playing with them and along with having to contend with their talent inside with Grainne (Dwyer) and Shannon (Brady), we’ll need to make sure Ash (McCann) doesn’t get too comfortable while she’s back in Clontarf for the day!” Super League – Round 3 fixtures

Thursday 21st October

Killester v UCD Marian 1945

Saturday 23rd October

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig v NUIG Maree 1600

Belfast Star v Griffith College Templeogue 1830

DBS Éanna v Bright DCU Saints 1900

Team 360 Financial Killorglin v Moycullen 1915

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors v C&S Neptune 1930 Super League – Round 3 and 4 fixtures Super League – Round 3 fixtures

Saturday 23rd October

Trinity Meteors v WIT Waterford Wildcats 1430

IT Carlow Basketball v Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics 1530

Fr. Mathews v Singleton Supervalu Brunell 1700

The Address UCC Glanmire v Killester 1700

Sunday 24th October

DCU Mercy v Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s 1430 Super League – Round 4 fixtures

Monday 25th October

Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics v The Address UCC Glanmire 1200

WIT Wateford Wildcats v IT Carlow Basketball 1300

Singleton Supervalu Brunell v DCU Mercy 1430

Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s v Trinity Meteors 1500

Killester v Fr. Mathews 1500 Division 1 – Round 3 fixtures

Saturday 23rd October

IT Carlow Basketball v Scotts Lakers Killarney 1230

Drogheda Wolves v LYIT Donegal 1530

Titans v Ulster University 1800

Limerick Celtics v Limerick Sport Eagles 1915

Abbey Seals Dublin Lions v McGowans Tolka Rovers 1915

Killarney Cougars v Portlaoise Panthers 1930

Fr. Mathews v UCC Demons 1945 Division 1 – Round 2, 3 and 4 fixtures Division 1 – Round 3 fixtures

Saturday 23rd October

Limerick Celtics v NUIG Mystics 1700

Limerick Sport Huskies v Marble City Hawks 1700

Phoenix Rockets v Swords Thunder 1830

Portlaoise Panthers v Tipperary Knights 1900

Griffith College Templeogue v LYIT Donegal 1930 Division 1 – Round 4 fixtures

Sunday 24th October

Ulster University v Limerick Celtics 1815 Division 1 Round 2 fixture

Wednesday 27th October

Phoenix Rockets v LYIT Donegal 2000