It was a bigger shock when they beat UL Eagles in the final. Now Bord Gáis Neptune are looking to create one more shock — pouncing from the shadows to add the Nivea for Men’s SuperLeague crown to their cupboard.
This weekend, they aim to make up ground on one of the two pre-season favourites UL Eagles and UCC Demons — with those two set to meet each other on Sunday.
“This is a crucial game for both teams on Sunday. It really is a must-win for both of us,” said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan.
“We need to prove to ourselves that we can play better than what we showed last weekend in the cup final, so it’s game on for us.”
However Demons coach Paul Kelleher does not think the result of the game will decide the title.
“Every team this year has been capable of beating everyone else. There will be another month of games and to think that the winner of Sunday has the league is disrespectful to all the other teams.”
Mindful of Neptune, who lie just a point behind them, he knows if they beat DCU Saints at home they can challenge for ultimate honours.
“The one thing this team has is hunger and depth,” Scannell said. “A few seasons ago UCD Marian won the cup then didn’t win a league game after that. That definitely won’t be happening to us. If we can win out, considering we have two games left against UL and Demons, I feel like it is still in our hands, so to speak.”
Elsewhere, the battle for fourth spot continues as Moycullen face UCD Marian while Dublin Inter play Killester.
In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, Liffey Celtics have the unenviable task of taking on both DCU Mercy and Team Montenotte Hotel, Cork over the weekend while Ulster Rockets host Singleton SuperValu Brunell as Killester and Meteors play off in an all-Dublin derby game.