Lions hoping to roar on against Saints

LIMERICK LIONS produced the shock result of the opening weekend of basketball’s men’s SuperLeague by pipping Merry Monk by a point in Ballina — and now their coach, Matt Hall, wants more of the same for the visit of DCU Saints to the UL Arena tomorrow night.

“Last week is behind us now and we will need to raise our display to a higher level to get anything out of the match with DCU,” he insisted.

Joey Boylan’s DCU Saints, who got their season off to a blistering start with a 102-74 win over Hoops, have an injury worry in Mike Trimmer, who strained his hamstring and was unable to train earlier in the week.

Since last weekend Merry Monk Ballina have replaced new signing Kenny Izzo — who failed to spark against the Lions — with Jimmy Boston, a vastly experienced 6’8” inside forward and they will be taking him to Jordanstown where they should pick up their first points against University of Ulster.

Boston was originally scheduled to play in Spain’s first division but opted for a move to the SuperLeague.

It was desperately close but Neptune will have a spring in their step following their 92-89 victory over Mustang Sally’s in an exciting game in Killarney last week.

They face a big test tomorrow night when they play defending champions, DART Killester, who are worried about the fitness of Irish underage international, Dara McKeown, ahead of the game.

The Cork side, who once dominated this competition, have discovered three exciting imports in Michael De Coursa, Matt Gorman and Pat Fitzpatrick and new coach, Dan Mobbs, may just have found a winning formula.

Mustang Sallys were disappointed but they can put it behind them when they play UCD Marian tomorrow. Barry and Pat Glover will again be missing for Marian while Matt Kelly is an injury worry.

Killarney will be boosted by the return of coach Cormac O’Donoghue, who takes charge from the line after missing the opening game of the season.

The other Kerry side, Cup champions Abrakebabra Tigers, had a stunning win over arch rivals, UCC Demons, last weekend (118-105) and are awaiting fitness news from Kerry footballers, Kieran Donaghy and Micheál Quirke ahead of the visit of Hoops to Tralee.

Tigers will only have one American on duty having lost their appeal against the suspension imposed on Auguste Wilder at the end of last season and which stands despite the fact that Wilder has decided not to return to the league.

Hoops have a number of serious injury concerns with Ger Jago (foot injury), Barry Cullen (groin injury) David O’Mahony (hamstring) and Ciaran White (Achilles injury) all set to miss out.

UCC Demons will be hoping, if not expecting, to get back on track when they host Belfast Star on Sunday afternoon. They are missing the experienced guard Shane Coughlan from their line-up those days. He sustained an ankle injury in pre-season while the ultra consistent Tim O’Halloran is out with a back injury.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s SuperLeague, Montenotte Hotel Cork (Glanmire) host UL Aughinish in a repeat of last season’s National Cup final and that should be sufficient to get the fans excited.

Montenotte’s hopes of landing the top prize this season have been boosted with the signing of Irish international Niamh Dwyer, back in Ireland after spells in Lithuania and Latvia.

UL Aughinish welcome the return of Máire Guiney and are at full strength for one of the toughest games they will face this season.

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