Completing grand slam priority for Demons as League takes back seat

Colin O’Reilly, the player-coach to C&S UCC Demons, is calling on his players to remain focused on completing the grand slam as they prepare to play UL Eagles in the Men’s Premier league at the UL Arena tomorrow.

The Cork side have already completed the league and cup double and with a place already guaranteed in the Champions Trophy semi-final O’Reilly intends using the final two league games as warm-ups to the final weekend in Galway on March 28-29.

“We have already done the business in the league and although it may sound strange our results in the final two league games are really immaterial,” O’Reilly said.

Demons will welcome Carleton Cuff back and with Niall Murphy continuing in his bid to regain full fitness they should have a full panel to choose from for the Eagles clash.

UL Eagles, under former Demons coach Paul Kelleher, have had a mixed season but are presently going through transition with many of their squad making their debuts in the Premier league.

BFG Neptune coach Ger Noonan was disappointed with his sides performance against Travelodge Swords Thunder and he will be demanding a far better display when they host Belfast Star tomorrow.

Neptune were comfortably beaten and coach Noonan is expecting a far more polished display against the northerners.

“Taking nothing away from Swords but there is no way they should have defeated us by 20 points on our home court and I have told the players that defence must be a priority in this game,” Noonan said.

The Neptune boss in his first season in the role is relatively happy he has done a good job with all the hurdles he had to overcome.

“First of all our American Nigel Byam got home sick and went home and then his replacement Michael Bonaparte was carrying an injury for eight weeks,” added Noonan.

No doubt the Neptune chief will be aware the Star American Ricky Taylor amassed 43 points when the teams met in Belfast and his star point guard Roy Downey could be given the job of nullifying his threat.

Killester have had a poor season by their standard and last week’s loss at home to UL Eagles shocked many pundits.

Coach Jonathon Grennell will need to regroup his players as they cross town to face Templeogue at Inchicore.

Templeogue are battling for fourth place that will guarantee them a place in the Champions Trophy quarter-final but coach Mark Keenan knows this will be a dogged battle. “We didn’t play well against Dublin Inter last week and let’s hope my players respond to that wake up call as Killester will be fired up after their shock defeat to UL Eagles,” Keenan said.

Belfast Star demolished DCU Saints in last week’s league clash and they face another tough task to see off the league runners up Travelodge Swords Thunder.

Swords were also shocked into submission when losing a 20-point interval lead before going down to UCD Marian and coach Dave Baker will be hoping for a response.

UCD Marian will be hoping to build on that win when they visit Mountview to play Dublin Inter.

The first leg Women’s Premier league semi finals will take place next weekend with Singleton Supervalu Brunell hosting DCU Mercy on March 14 at the Parochial Hall. In the other semi-final Liffey Celtics entertain Team Montenotte on the same date.


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