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Basketball Season Reaches Halfway Point With Huge Weekend Of Fixtures

Basketball Season Reaches Halfway Point With Huge Weekend Of Fixtures
By Balls Team
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Now at the midway point in the season, the second round of games starts in both the Men’s and Women’s Super League this weekend, with a fascinating set of fixtures in store. The log jam at the top end of the Men’s Super League is set to become a bit clearer after this weekend, while the women’s league closes out 2019 with some big games.

Women’s Super League

Fr Mathews v Marble City Hawks (Saturday, Fr Mathews Arena, 17:00)

Fr. Mathews welcome Hawks to Cork this weekend as they look to bounce back from two tough weekends against Pyrobel Killester. With Grainne Dwyer an injury concern for the hosts we are unlikely to see a major drubbing like there was in the opening fixture of the season between the teams. Marble City are still without a win but came agonisingly close last weekend against Liffey Celtics as they ultimately lost out in overtime. If the home team were to lose this weekend, it would likely see them outside of the playoff spots at Christmas, so there is plenty of motivation for them to close out the year with a big performance and the crucial points.

Ambassador UCC Glanmire v Maree (Saturday, Upper Glanmire SC, 17:00)

After a shaky start to the season for Glanmire, they have been one of the top teams in the country over the past two months. Maree sit alone in 2nd place, one game behind leaders DCU Mercy and one ahead of their Cork rivals. One of Glanmire’s three losses this season in the league came at the hands of Maree up in Galway back in September. Claire Rockall and Carly McClendon were the standouts for Maree that day as they pipped Glanmire by just three points. Since then though, Glanmire have been performing exceptionally well. Shrita Parker has become the focus for them in recent weeks and limiting her will be a key focus for Joe Shields’ team. A win for Maree creates a two game gap between the teams and could put a major dent in Glanmire’s title hopes. Glanmire have won seven of their last eight games and they will be hopeful that they can equal Maree’s point total going into Christmas.

DCU Mercy v Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics (Sunday, DCU, 14:30)

The league leaders host last season’s champions in a fitting clash to close out 2019. Mercy have looked the best team in the country so far this year, but Liffey’s championship experience could test them. Liffey barely overcame bottom side Marble City last week so they will be hoping for an improved performance this week. Liffey are currently on the outside of the playoff picture and need to start getting some big wins to get them back in Champions Trophy contention. In the first game of the year, Mercy easily disposed of Celtics, but we’re likely to see a tougher battle this weekend and it’s always one of the most-anticipated clashes in the WSL.


Singleton SuperValu Brunell v Pyrobel Killester (Sunday, Parochial Hall, 14:45)

Killester head to Cork for the second straight week and they will be hoping to get three points against a Brunell team that struggled over the first half of the season. Killester won the opening game between the sides earlier in the year and need to win in Cork to maintain their hold on  a playoff spot. Brunell are on the outside looking in with a record of 2-7. With the opportunities to get back in the race running out for Brunell it may be now or never for the Leesiders.

Men’s Super League

Maree v Moycullen, (Saturday, Calsanctius College, 19:00)


While most eyes are on the jam-packed title race, there is a crucial Galway derby this weekend that could have a huge impact on the race to stay up in the Super League. Moycullen have been playing well recently, with narrow losses to Killorglin away and Neptune at home as well as key wins over Dublin Lions and Templeogue. They currently sit in second last place with a record of record of 3-8. Maree sit just above them on 4-7 and critically, they have already beaten Moycullen this season. A win for Maree at home this weekend would leave a two-game gap between the teams and with wins so hard to come by this season, that could be all that is needed for survival. This has all the makings of a tense classic. 


Griffith College Templeogue v Belfast Star (Saturday, Nord Anglia International School, 19:00)

Templeogue have been rounding into form and had a great week last week beating both UCD and Eanna. In the first meeting between these two teams though, Templeogue were in control in the fourth quarter but Keelan Cairns and Star managed to pull out a big win in overtime. Star have struggled on the road at times this season and Templeogue are extremely tricky on their home court. One of these teams will drop to five losses after this weekend and whichever team does so will likely see their title hopes reduced significantly. This will be well worth watching.


DBS Eanna v Abbey Seals Dublin Lions (Saturday, Colaiste Eanna, 19:00)

Éanna have been one of the top teams in the league for the first half of the year and they will expect to win at home against a Lions team still searching for that elusive first win. Lions lost last weekend in overtime to Maree and also ran Tralee very close at home in Dublin recently. Éanna almost won last week in Templeogue in one of the games of the season to date, and if they are to remain in the title race, they have to win this weekend at home and it’s hard to see any other result coming. 

UCD Marian v Garvey’s Tralee Warriors (Saturday, UCD, 19:00)


Tralee have looked the team to beat this season and sit in first place at the top of the league currently. The title race last season was ultimately decided in UCD last year when Tralee knocked UCD out of contention before claiming the title the next day. This weekend could have a major impact again. UCD are hanging in there but haven’t looked as strong as the top teams this season. They did beat Tralee in the opening game of the year and if they can do so again this weekend it would blow open the title race even more. Tralee will expect with Kieran Donaghy in the team this time (he missed the first game between the teams) that they will have enough to win, but UCD has been a difficult place to win for many teams over the last few years and this should be a fascinating game.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin v Coughlan CandS Neptune (Saturday, Killorglin Sports Centre, 19:15)

In the opening clash between the teams, Neptune demolished Killorglin in Cork as they set the tone for the first half of their season. Neptune have been excellent for the first three months but this is a very tricky fixture. Killorglin have quality but lack depth, though if they shoot well, they can beat anyone and both Tralee and Killester have lost in Killorglin already this year. Despite a slow start, Killorglin are now only two games off top spot and one game off the packed playoff spots. Neptune have only three losses and if they win their game in hand they will be joint top. Title challenges are often made in games like this one so it will be interesting to see whether they can get a crucial win or if Colin O’Reilly can deal them a major body blow.


Pyrobel Killester v DCU Saints, (Saturday, IWA-Clontarf, 19:30)

During the summer, nobody would have believed that after the first round of games, Killester would have a losing record and be outside of the top seven. DCU equally would have hoped for a better record at this point as they have just four wins. A loss this weekend for DCU and a Moycullen win in Galway could see DCU in the relegation battle which they would not have expected as the season started. Mike Bonaparte faces one of his former teams and a big performance from him could be the difference. Killester have struggled with health over recent weeks and still should have beaten UCD last weekend. Killester need wins badly and neither team can afford to drop this one.




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