UCC Glanmire get their Women’s Super League campaign underway on Sunday when they host Killester at the Mardyke Arena.
Glanmire’s former American star Chantell Alford signed with the Clontarf outfit over the summer but misses the trip to Cork due to a knee injury sustained in pre-season.
The sides will also meet in a National Cup quarter-final in December but Glanmire coach Mark Scannell insists his focus is first and foremost on this league opener.
Scannell said: “I am not a coach that looks too far ahead as all I am thinking about right now is getting maximum points on Sunday. Chantelle Alford was a tremendous player to coach and our club will always remember her contribution here.
The other Cork club - Singletons Supervalu Brunell - travel to Portlaoise Panthers who must plan without star player, Claire Melia. The Irish U18 international has been ruled out for the entire season by an ACL injury.
There are some interesting games in the Men’s Super League with Griffith College Swords Thunder hosting leaders Belfast Star.
Thunder were stunned by UCC Demons last weekend but coach Dave Baker believes his side can recover: “It’s another huge challenge as Star look a very useful side but we have got to learn from last week’s defeat to UCC Demons and ensure we get the all-important win.”
The mood in the Star camp is bullish and coach Darren O’Neill is looking forward to the challenge. “We have won three games but I am under illusions as I knew we had bigger fish to fry and one way or another our progress will be gauged against Swords Thunder.”
UCC Demons were buoyant after defeating Thunder but captain Kyle Hosford is urging his teammates to remain focused when they travel to Galway for a clash with Maree.
The Cork outfit are boosted by the return of Adrian O’Sullivan following a two-week injury absence.
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors’ coach Mark Bernsen believes his team need to respect the challenge of Moycullen. Bernsen said: “I think the league is much more competitive this season and every game is a challenge but I am sure my guys will give Moycullen the respect they deserve.”
Champions Templogue have lost their last two games to Killester and Eanna and coach Mark Keenan is adamant his side can bounce back for their home clash against UCD Marian. Keenan said: “Teams are now raising their game against us and we need to be more focused and make no mistake the UCD Marian game will be another dogfight.” Eanna coach Pat Glover was buoyant last week when his side defeated Templeogue and they are involved in another Dublin derby when they host DCU Saints.
Saints were demolished on their home court by Belfast Star last week by Belfast Star and coach Joey Boylan is urging his troops to be ready for another battle. Boylan said: “Star were a decent side but lessons will have to learned if we are to compete with his improving Eanna outfit.”
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