It has been a tough start to the campaign for Templeogue, who have lost three of their four opening games and coach Mark Keenan is urging his players to quickly rediscover their best form: “It’s been a strange season as we have played well for over three quarters in all our games but we are not functioning coming down the stretch.”
In comparison, UCC Demons have had a good start despite not having American Lehmon Colbert for two games though player-coach Colin O’Reilly is under no illusions about the challenge that awaits his side.
O’Reilly said: “The bottom line is that Templeogue haven’t become a bad side overnight and we know this will be another titanic battle.”
The one negative for Demons is that O’Reilly is doubtful through injury having also sat out last week’s win over Maree.
He added: “I picked up an injury in our first game against Tralee Warriors and it basically needs rest but I will not make a decision until closer to tip-off.”
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors have had a slow start to the season as they get ready to welcome DCU Saints to the Tralee complex.
Last week Darren O’Sullivan bailed them out with a buzzer beater that helped defeat Moycullen by three points and coach Mark Bernsen is hoping for a much-improved performance for the visit of the Saints.
Bernsen said: “We haven’t played to the required standard in the second half of any of our games to date and that’s the reason we are struggling.”
Belfast Star lost their unbeaten record to Griffith College Swords Thunder last weekend and they will be confident of returning to winning ways when they entertain Killester.
The Dublin side lost influential American Royce Williams against Moycullen a fortnight ago with an ankle injury that could rule him out for up to six weeks.
Star pushed Swords Thunder to the wire and on their home court they will feel confident of gaining maximum points.
UCD Marian should maintain their unbeaten against Galway side Maree who are still awaiting their first win.
Moycullen battled hard in Tralee last week but their credentials are sure to be tested by improving Eanna.
The Dublin side are probably the biggest in the league but Moycullen like nothing better than a challenge on their home court.
For coach John Cunningham this is a crucial game for his side to get back to winning ways.
Cunningham said: “We were unlucky in Tralee but that chapter is closed and we need to make sure we gain maximum points from our home games.”
In the Women’s Super League, DCU Mercy play their opening game of the season when hosting Killester.
UCC Glanmire, who began with a win against Killester, will be confident for their away game against IT Carlow.
Coach Mark Scannell was happy with his team’s performance against Killester last week but warned his troops against complacency.
Scannell said: “It’s early days to be making predictions as basically we are taking it one game at a time.”
Singletons Supervalu Brunell coach Francis O’Sullivan will be hoping his team can chalk up their second win of the season when they entertain NUIG Mystics at the Parochial Hall.
Liffey Celtics should have few problems at Portlaoise Panthers who are without star player Claire Melia for the remainder of the season with an ACL injury picked up in pre-season.