Last weekend’s Cork and Kerry derbies provided amazing opening weekend action and week two will begin with another local contest on Leeside, when UCC Demons take on Emporium Cork Basketball on Friday night.
UCC Demons turned plenty of heads on their return to the InsureMyVan.ie Super League against Energywise Ireland Neptune, but Emporium Cork Basketball quietly put in one of the more impressive performances of the weekend against Moycullen.
First-year head coach Ciaran O’Sullivan is asking his charges for more of the same: “We look forward to the game this Friday after a good team performance against Moycullen. UCC Demons have a lot of quality across the board and showed their strength in depth against Neptune in what was a highly competitive game. It’s still early in the season so there will be an element of feeling one another out.”
Belfast Star head coach Adrian Fulton is embracing the coaching challenges associated with facing Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, as the two most recent InsureMyVan.ie Super League champions meet in an early season showdown on Saturday.
Both teams picked up wins on the opening weekend, Belfast Star against Bright St Vincent’s, while Tralee overcame Flexachem KCYMS in overtime. Fulton has a lot of respect for his counterpart John Dowling both on and off the court and that is reflected in his approach to the contest: “While the players have been preparing for the game this week, I have been trying on new suits to see if I can dress sharper than John Dowling, not only coach of the year, but also the best dressed coach in Ireland.
"As for the game itself, Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are going to be a very tough opponent this year, as they always are. They had a great win last weekend even without Eoin Quigley, against a very talented Flexachem KCYMS team. We will look to build on a good performance last weekend. I'm sure it will be another good game,” Fulton said.
Head coach Niamh Dwyer has told her i3PT Fr.Mathews side to prepare for a very “physical” game as they welcome another unbeaten team, Waterford Wildcats to Fr Mathews Arena in the MissQuote.ie Super League.
“Looking forward to having our first home game of the season when we face Waterford Wilcats at Fr Mathews Arena," Dwyer said.
"It should be a very physical game and we will be looking to build from last week’s performance against Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics.”
Reigning champions The Address UCC Glanmire make their first away trip of the season, as they take on University of Galway Mystics. Head coach Mark Scannell says the internal competitiveness in his squad will drive them to another level.
“We’ve had a decent start and we are looking to build on that this weekend in Galway. I watched University of Galway Mystics against Trinity Meteors and they are a good team, well coached and we expect another difficult test. Our bench were immense for us last week and there is great competition within the squad and I expect that to be a catalyst for us on Saturday.”
Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics’ Karl Kilbride understands the importance of the trip to Clontarf to face his former team Killester. Both teams without a win following week one. Kilbride, who took over Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics this season wants his team to show improvement on the boards on both ends: “The IWA is always a tough place for away teams to go get a win.
"We were obviously really disappointed to lose such a close game last weekend. We didn’t do a good enough job of taking care of our defensive boards last weekend. That will be a big area of focus for us this weekend. We can’t afford to lose that battle this week.”
Two newly-introduced teams, McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles and St Paul’s Killarney sit atop the North and South Conference of the MissQuote.ie Women’s Division 1 respectively heading into week two. Both will be hoping to continue their good form against two more unbeaten teams, Limerick Celtics and Swords Thunder. The league’s other teams with a perfect record, Portlaoise Panthers and Griffith College Templeogue both have home comforts to look forward to. Portlaoise Panthers host SETU Carlow, with Phoenix Rockets make the trip to take on Griffith College Templeogue.
SETU Carlow and Limerick Celtics both put up 100-points on the opening weekend of the InsureMyVan.ie Men’s Division 1 and they cross paths on Sunday in what could be the game of the weekend. Moy Tolka Rovers and Limerick Sport Eagles also boast undefeated records ahead of their battle in Tolka Rovers SC.