Punosevac looking forward to revenge mission

NEPTUNE coach Sasa Punosevac feels they can spring a surprise when they travel to Clontarf tomorrow night to play his old club, DART Killester, in the SuperLeague Cup qualifier.

When the teams met in the Nivea for Men SuperLeague in Neptune Stadium at the start of the season, Killester gave their old coach the runaround before taking the points. A week later both lost their Cup first round games and were sent knocking on the back door.

And Neptune, after winning two important SuperLeague games, are top of the Southern Conference so they are entitled to be walking around with a spring in the step.

Punosevac said: “They will be favourites and they are entitled to be favourites. They have beaten us on our home court and now they are on their home court. They should expect to win.

“But we have been improving all along. If somebody told me at the start of the season that we would top the conference I would not have believed it.

“I was with Killester last season and so was Kieran O’Brien so we know everything about Killester so this is going to be a very interesting game.”

Mark Keenan, who took over as coach to Killester this year, agreed it could be a different game this time around and the good news for him is that they will be back to full strength with the return of Damien Sealy and John Quigley.

“We know it will be hard against Neptune,” he said. “When we played them a few weeks ago in Cork we started awful but then went on to win but we must get at them from the beginning this time.”

Belfast Star make the long trek south to face Mustang Sally St. Paul’s in Presentation College, Killarney on Saturday evening with both looking for a first win of the season and a place in the next round of the cup.

Mustang Sally’s have been in the middle of an injury crisis and a poor run of form in recent weeks and will be hoping that this weekend’s cup tie will kick-start their season. Cormac O’Donoghue’s men receive a much-needed boost as they welcome Justin Wingard back after he was sidelined for a month with a stress fracture. Eoin O’Brien may also return but Ger Noonan is still out with a hand injury.

Merry Monk Ballina host UCD Marian in their National Cup clash in the Ballina Sports Centre. Merry Monk seem to be getting their season back on track after a big win in Cork on Sunday against Demons. However, they will be without Ronan McGarrity who is struggling with a knee injury picked up against Hoops.

The good news for Coach Terry Kennedy is that Deora Marsh will return for Ballina after his spell on the injury list.

Injury problems have hampered UCD-Marian’s progress. Barry Glover is still out, while Pat Glover was also unable to play last weekend due to injury, and is uncertain for this game

In The Nivea for Men League St. Vincent’s are at home to Hoops. Vincent’s beat a struggling Hoops side three times in the League last term but this season the South Dublin outfit are streaking ahead in the league with maximum points while St. Vincent’s lost out to Ballina and Limerick Lions in recent weeks.

Tonight Abrakebabra Tigers play Limerick Lions at the Tralee Sports Centre (8:30 pm tip-off). Kieran Donaghy misses out for the Tigers, as he will be attending a GAA Awards Ceremony and the Lions will be hoping to keep the momentum of last week‘s victory over St. Vincent’s going.

In the Women‘s SuperLeague the clash of the weekend will be between DCU Mercy and UL Aughinish in the Old Sports Building of UL tomorrow night at (8 pm).

Back in Dublin DART Killester face a tough proposition as host Bausch & Lomb Wildcats at the IWA on Saturday with Mark Grennell‘s side back to full strength following the return of American Sue Altman and Emer Brophy while Carmel Kissane should be a lot fitter having got a game under her belt in the close run loss on the road to UL Aughinish.

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