Kieran Donaghy has issued a call to arms to Garvey’s Tralee Warriors’ fans ahead of tomorrow night’s Super League meeting with table toppers Templeogue (Tralee Sports Complex, 7.30pm).
The Dubliners top the table on 39 points but their hosts, who are joined second with UCD Marian (33), have two games in hand. And Donaghy wants to have every possible advantage on home court.
“We have a juggernaut coming down here on Saturday night,” he explained. “This is a team with four or five internationals, with one of the best Americans in the country, and they’re top of the league for a reason. We need the crowd from the first minute to the last on Saturday night.
“Bring drums, foghorns, whatever you can — it’s about inches on Saturday night. A win here would move us closer to winning the Super League, which, when we put this team together three years ago, we would have only dreamed of doing.”
The sides have met twice already this season with Tralee claiming victory in both League and Cup games at the Oblate Hall in Inchicore.
We’ll prepare and do our job,” said Templeogue’s Puff Summers. “We’ve seen them a lot this year. Both teams are familiar with each other. They’ve a new American so we’ll have to contain him. They’re tough. They’re Championship worthy, but we’re Championship worthy too.
Champions UCD Marian remain in the hunt to retain the title and will be confident of defeating relegation-threatened C & S Neptune.
The Cork side were disappointing in last week’s loss to Killorgin but coach Paul Kelleher remains hopeful of avoiding the drop. “We are losing the majority of games against sides that increase the physicality stakes against us and having already defeated UCD Marian at home there is no reason to think we cannot repeat that feat.”
DCU Saints are taking their Men’s Super League game against Demons to Carrickmacross in Monaghan to promote the game in this region with key player Martin Provizors based in the town.
Demons were poor in their second-half defeat to UCD Marian last week and they might find the going tough against Saints who are bidding for a place in the Champions Trophy.
Pyrobel Killester are another side battling for a berth in the Champions Trophy as their league challenge faded in recent weeks. Maree will be Killester’s opponents at Clontarf and the hosts will look to restrict the shooting of Sean Sellers to get back to winning ways.
Belfast Star have an outside chance of getting back in the title race and should be good enough to see off Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin at De La Salle.
In the Women’s Super League, champions-elect, Courtyard Liffey Celtics, should get back to winning ways when they host IT Carlow. The Kildare side were dealt a blow last week when it was revealed that American Breana Green would miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
The big game in Cork will see Ambassador UCC Glanmire clash with great rivals DCU Mercy.
Glanmire and DCU Mercy were once the dominant clubs in Irish basketball but have dropped down the rankings in this campaign.
Fr Mathew’s are battling for the runner up berth but they face a tricky visit to play WIT Wildcats who last week hammered Glanmire.