With the title decided on play-offs over two leg semi-finals, coach Mark Scannell is keen to finish top of the pile and secure a fixture against the fourth-placed side.
“The women’s league is different but we cannot complain, as UL Huskies won the regular season in last year’s campaign and we ended up winning the title,” Scannell said.
Captain Claire Rockall is an injury doubt and though she returned to light training this week, Scannell may opt to give her another week of recuperation.
Their Kildare hosts are definitely without star forward Meagan Hoffman who is recovering from knee surgery.
Coach Vinnie O’Keeffe is relishing the challenge. “Montenotte have set the benchmark for others to follow but on our best form we should not fear them on our home court.”
Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell bid to keep their top-four hopes alive with a home win against UL Huskies. However Edel Thornton is ruled out with a foot injury.
In the Men’s Premier League, leaders C&S UCC Demons host DCU Saints at the Mardyke arena on Sunday with player coach Colin O’Reilly urging his players to remember some painful lessons of last year.
“We were in a similar position last season and lost the league in February but I am confident we have matured as a team and it’s a case of getting the business done in the closing four games,” said O’Reilly.
Their American Lehmon Colbert (thigh strain) is a doubt but Niall Murphy has returned to training after a six- week absence with an ankle injury.
Travelodge Swords Thunder were disappointed last week when losing to Demons at home and they are involved in a double header this weekend, beginning with a trip to play Dublin Inter tomorrow, followed by a trip to Limerick on Sunday to face UL Eagles. Coach Dave Baker: “Losing to Demons at home was disappointing but no disgrace as all other sides in the league have also failed to defeat them this season, and all we can do is try keep the pressure on them.”
Killester were stunned at home by Dublin rivals DCU Saints last weekend and are desperate to bounce back against Belfast Star at Clontarf.
UL Eagles have another busy schedule that will begin on Saturday with a home game against BFG Neptune — shock winners over Templeogue last weekend.
That victory ended Neptune’s seven-game losing sequence and player coach Ger Noonan wants more of the same. He reasoned: “One swallow never made a summer and the win over Templeogue is now a closed chapter but we need a win against UL to keep our momentum going into the closing weeks of the season.”