Scannell expects Neptune ‘spark’ for cup opener

Neptune coach Mark Scannell

Bord Gáis Neptune will start the defence of their Premier National Cup tomorrow when they host Galway side Moycullen.

Neptune were demolished in their Cork derby clash last week by UCC Demons and coach Mark Scannell is confident his team will show a different attitude.

“I am not going to slate my players but in reality there was no spark in our game against Demons and we’ve spoken in depth about it,” Scannell said.

“With the exception of our American all my players are amateurs that either work or go to college and the dedication and commitment that is required to play at this level is incredible.”

Scannell criticised the decision-makers for making the biggest championship in basketball a near laughing stock, with two legs in the first round.

“I have never known a crazier decision in basketball because in truth they are taking away the glamour of the championship, with teams having to play one another in consecutive weeks,” he said.

In the case of Killester and Belfast Star, it will be their third consecutive game after last week’s Premier League clash.

The Dublin side are going well but will need to be focused and get a healthy lead to bring back to Belfast for the second leg next week.

UL Eagles are another team going well and they should have enough firepower to see off Dublin Inter. Just like his Neptune counterpart, coach Mark Keenan is miffed why there are two legs being played in the first round cup games.

“It’s a strange decision but one we cannot change and I will be hoping my team remain focused in the next fortnight,” Keenan said.

C&S UCC Demons are involved in the battle of colours when they welcome UCD Marian to the Mardyke Arena on Sunday.

Demons are unbeaten in the league and player coach Colin O’Reilly is hoping for another professional performance from his team.

“We are playing well as a unit and our approach will be no different to the one we have used all season and let’s hope our fans give us the encouragement we need in a game of this importance,” O’Reilly said.

The action begins this evening as Templeogue and DCU Saints play their first-round clash at Inchicore.

In the Women’s Superleague, Team Montenotte entertain WIT Wildcats.


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