There will be a rehearsal of the Men’s Premier National Cup final at the Alsaa tomorrow as Swords Thunder host Templeogue in a crucial league game.
Templeogue were relieved to get over Killester in the cup semi-final and with American Michael Bonaparte still out injured coach Mark Keenan hopes his side can maintain their 10/0 unbeaten league record.
“It’s going to be strange but to be honest we will be going hell for leather as we view this as a crucial game in our title bid,” Keenan said, indicating Bonaparte is in a race against time to be fit for the cup final.
“If Michael does manage to make it he will very lucky and to be honest to be down a player that’s registering over 20 points a game is not easy to replace.”
The Templeogue chief was impressed with Swords’ performance against C & S UCC Demons and believes his team will need to be at the top of their game to nullify their shooting threats.
“When I looked at their stats of the Demons game it read 12/15 from outside the perimeter. That makes it clear we need to be sharp in defence.”
The mood in the Swords camp is positive, with coach Dave Baker reflecting on a tremendous week for his club.
“Usually when I return from Cork after playing Demons I am picking up the pieces but I think this week has been a good one, the feelgood factor embedded in my squad,” Baker said.
“Many people may be thinking both teams will be taking it easy with the cup final around the corner but for us it’s a match of special significance.”
Belfast Star are playing impressive basketball and they should have too much firepower at home to UL Eagles.
“I will be urging my players to show more consistency. We have the ability to mix it with the best when we are playing to our potential,” said coach Neil McCotter.
C & S UCC Demons hope to keep their league title aspirations together when they welcome UCD Marian to the Mardyke on Sunday.
Demons looked disjointed in their cup defeat to Swords Thunder but co-captain Ciaran O’Sullivan hopes they can learn from that defeat.
“It was a game we simply never fired in and hopefully we can bring our A game to the table against UCD Marian.”
Moycullen look forward to the visit of Eanna to the NUIG where a win looks on the cards for the Galway side.
The big game in the Women’s Premier league will see leaders DCU Mercy travelling to Cork to play Team Montenotte. DCU coach Mark Ingle believes this is a crucial game for both.
“I think if we manage to win it will go a long way to clinching the regular season title but I do know Montenotte will be really fired up to stop us,” Ingle said.
The mood in the Montenotte camp is buoyant and despite star point guard Niamh Dwyer being ruled out for the remainder of the season coach Mark Scannell is happy with the progress.
“Any side would miss the talent of Niamh but she is presently doing a good job keeping players focused on the job in hand and we will be ready for a tough game against DCU Mercy,” Scannell said.
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