Three points separate the Men’s SuperLeague table-toppers Tralee Warriors and Belfast Star ahead of the penultimate round of action with both sides insisting their focus is locked and loaded on their weekend opponents.
If only it was that clearcut.
All the on-court action is overshadowed by the looming hearing of the Sports Dispute Solutions on Tuesday which aims to bring to an end to a sorry saga which has dogged the competition in recent months. That meeting will rule on whether or not Warriors are to be deducted six points for fielding an illegal player in mid-season.
Such a decision will put Star back in pole position in the final run-in to the season finale. The northerners will be confident of taking maximum points when they host Coughlan C & S Neptune at De La Salle tomorrow.
The northerners are in a rich vein of form but coach Adrian Fulton has warned his side not to underestimate their last two opponents.
Fulton said: “Neptune began the season looking like championship contenders and defeated us in Cork in the first round so we have every reason to respect them for this game despite their recent losing streak.”
Neptune player-coach Lehmon Colbert is braced for a busy weekend as they also play Eanna in Dublin on Sunday. Colbert said: “Our defence has been costing us and we need a serious look on how to counteract two high scoring sides but it’s not beyond us as we have already defeated them in first round games.”
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors will conclude their home campaign when they host Abbey Seals Dublin and looks odds on to win with relative ease.
Griffith College Templeogue host Pyrobel Killester in a Dublin derby while Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin bid to keep their hopes of a Champions’ Trophy spot alive with a home win over UCD Marian.
Moycullen welcome Eanna while Maree will want to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Tralee Warriors when they face DCU Saints.
Newly-crowned Women’s SuperLeague champions DCU Mercy head to Cork this weekend for a date with great rivals Ambassador UCC Glanmire.
This game is crucial for Glanmire as a win would secure the runner-up berth but coach Mark Scannell knows it will be a daunting task.
Scannell said: “We congratulate DCU Mercy on winning the championship but this is a big game for us and I am hoping my team can rise to the occasion.”
Pyrobel Killester will be without American Christa Reed when they entertain Fr Mathew’s who are on the back of a four-game losing run.
Maree will complete their impressive league campaign at home to IT Carlow and it’s unlikely that winless and relegated Marble City Hawks will be getting anything from their game at Liffey Celtics.
Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell will want to build their home win against Fr Mathew’s for the visit of WIT Wildcats to the Parochial Hall.