For the wider basketball community, it’s the glamour game of the weekend’s schedule — but there is an argument for saying it’s not even the most important game on Leeside this weekend.
The ongoing debate about the best women’s team in the country is revived tomorrow as Montenotte Hotel Cork take on UL Huskies in the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague.
It was the Glanmire side that put an end to the Huskies’ incredible 44-game winning streak before Christmas but UL had their revenge in the National Cup final last month. Now with the sides tied at top of the SuperLeague, one will take the decisive step towards outright first.
Huskies head coach James Weldon said: “We began preparing for this game straight after the cup, we know how important this fixture is as the winner could take it all.
“The regular season title is a special one for us, it was the first one we won two seasons ago and we want to hold on to it.”
In the Nivea for Men’s SuperLeague, reigning league champions UL Eagles will take on Dublin Inter as they look to secure the top spot with a win over the new boys. Most eyes, however, will be on tonight’s meeting of Cork rivals UCC Demons and Bord Gais Neptune. Demons will also have the task of taking on a fearless Dublin Inter side as both teams have a double weekend ahead.
As National Cup winners, Neptune will enter the game with confidence, having knocked Demons out of the running for the title back in January. However, after a tough defeat to Eagles on the road Mark Scannell’s side will need to regroup to get a result against an eager home side.
Scannell said: “This is a big game for us, we had a disappointing result last week and suffering with injuries didn’t help us. We have an advantage coming into the game as cup champions but we need to remember the cup is over.
“There is nothing more dangerous than a fired-up Demons on their home court. So we need to be prepared for that and produce a performance worthy of a win.”
Paul Kelleher, head coach of UCC Demons, said: “We have certain targets that we want to achieve this season, finishing the regular season strong and getting ready for the play-offs are the most important ones for us.”