Joint Men’s Super League leaders Garvey’s Tralee Warriors and Eanna go head-to-head tomorrow in a crucial clash that is sure to attract another capacity attendance to the Tralee Sports Complex.
There is a special significance to this game as these sides will meet again next weekend in the Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup semi-final at the Neptune Stadium.
It has been a terrific season for Eanna, playing in the top flight for the first time, and coach Darren McGovern is excited by another stern test of his inexperienced side.
“If you cannot enjoy being involved in games of this magnitude, I think you are involved in the wrong sport.”
It’s not an ideal fixture with a reprise looming in the cup, but McGovern is adamant that won’t alter his side’s preparation.
“I think both teams would have preferred if this game wasn’t scheduled but the bottom line is that’s how the fixtures have been structured and it’s a case of trying to keep our league run going against a very good side.”
After Warriors’ pre-Christmas defeat away to Belfast Star, coach Pat Price knows his side cannot afford any more slip-ups if they hope to retain their title.
Star are certainly back in the mix as they get ready to welcome Killester to De La Salle College. The northerners were superb in that win over the Warriors and coach Adrian Fulton is hoping the Christmas break has not upset his team’s rhythm.
“We were going well before the break and now its back to the hard graft as our total focus will be getting maximum points against Killester.”
Coughlan C&S Neptune player-coach Lehmon Colbert blasted his side’s preparations after their home defeat to Maree last weekend and now his side face a difficult road trip to play UCD Marian.
“What was said to the players after the game remains in-house and I am confident we will get a response for the UCD Marian game,” Colbert said.
Maree, who battled in overtime to defeat Neptune, welcome Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin with coach Mike Lynch hoping for another gritty display.
Lynch said: “I was delighted in the manner we closed out the Neptune game and with our American Darin Johnson recovering from his chest infection we should be at full strength.”
Griffith College Templeogue have been inconsistent and coach Mark Keenan knows his side will need to sharpen up against Abbey Seals Dublin Lions.
“We are not even thinking about our cup semi-final against Neptune as we need to get our league form back,” Keenan said.
Moycullen coach John Cunningham was elated last weekend when his side defeated Killester and tomorrow they will be hoping to take another scalp in the capital when they visit DCU Saints.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Super League, Liffey Celtics have released former Americans Kylee Smith and Darby Maggard with Brianna Greene returning to the champions.
The Kildare side will be hoping to improve their league position when they travel to play Killester who will be hoping for a big performance in preparation for next weekend’s cup semi-final against Glanmire.
Leaders DCU Mercy should have few problems when they visit basement side Marble City Hawks.
Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell are DCU Mercy’s National cup semi-final opponents and they make the trip to Galway for a clash with Maree.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire travel to play IT Carlow with coach Mark Scannell adamant his team will need to be focused on the job in hand.
Scannell said: “The cup semi-final will have to take a back seat as it would be foolish to underestimate IT Carlow on their home court.”
Irish International Grainne Dwyer will return for Fr Mathew’s crucial home game against WIT Wildcats determined to help her side return to winning ways.
Dwyer said: “I have had three weeks off and I’m ready to go as we need to get a result against a Wildcats side who defeated us in the first round.”
In the Men’s Division One, the big game will take place at the Killarney Sports Complex when Scott Lakers Killarney host Tradehouse Central Ballincollig the only unbeaten side (13/0) across all national leagues.