Basketball Ireland weekend preview: Men’s National Cup

Updated: November 15, 2013

This weekend will see the Men’s Premier League teams keep their focus firmly on the Men’s National Cup competition as the second leg of the first round commences.

With the majority of games offering predictable results in the first leg last weekend, it seems the underdogs are in full flight to prove a point this time around.


Belfast Star in particular appear determined to reverse the result from last weekend when they lost a nail biting battle by three points to Killester 83-80. The northerners will welcome a home fixture to the men in black and orange as they prepare for their third game against them in as many weeks, one in the league and the other in the cup.


UL Eagles will make the journey to Dublin when they face off with Dublin Inter after seeing them off 74-63 at home in the UL Arena last weekend. The Limerick lads will need to be in top form after a physical game last week saw both sides fight it out until the final whistle.


Reigning National Cup Champions, Bord Gais Neptune, will have their eyes on the prize when they make the trip to Galway to take on a young SSE Renewables Moycullen this weekend. Although it is difficult to envisage any difficulties for the Cork men after their 104-59 win last week, their focus will remain intact as they look to progress to the next round.


Similarly in Dublin, local rivals DCU Saints and Templeogue will face off as the southsiders look to improve on their disappointing result the weekend previous when they fell 48-84. While UCD Marian will take on C&S UCC Demons in the hope that can bounce back from their 96-65 defeat and end UCD Marian’s cup dreams this season.


In the Women’s Premier League our attention to refocused to the league when reigning National Cup and League Champions, UL Huskies, welcome Killester to Limerick. As the both sides return from a week’s break we are sure that the sides will be eager to return to form.


Likewise Meteors will take on Ulster Rockets for the second time this season when the northerners travel to Dublin. The last time both sides went into battle it was a very close encounter 63-60 with Ulster Rockets taking the win.


The final game of the weekend will welcome the first Women’s National Cup game this season when DCU Mercy face off with a strong WIT Wildcats on Sunday. Earmarked as the game to watch this weekend Wildcats will be determined to return to top form after missing out on tight wins the last two weekends to Cork sides, Singleton SuperValu Brunell and Team Montenotte Hotel Cork respectively.




All eyes will be on Belfast Star this weekend as they look to rattle the current National Cup favourites, Killester. Although the Dublin side came out on top in the first round, 83-80, their three point cushion will be difficult to protect when they make the daunting trip up to Belfast this weekend.


Speaking to Belfast Stars’, Paul Dick, he said, “It was disappointing to miss out on the win when we had so many chances at the end of the game to take it. We’re sick of losing to Killester now, that game has left a very bitter taste and we are eager to get them back at home this weekend.”


Ciaran Rowe from Killester enthused, “We prepared as normal going into this game, we need to treat it as just another game with our mentality set and focused on winning.”


“Our main aim this weekend it not to slip up, we need to be able to maintain a lead when we have it and focus on closing out the game down the stretch.”




Dublin Inter will be eager to reverse the result from their loss to UL Eagles last weekend, 74-63. In what was reported as a tough and physical game, both sides will be ready to hit the ground running from the jump. For Dublin Inter this game will offer them their first chance at progressing to the second round of the National Cup as they settle into their second season in the Premier League.


Speaking to Romas Eidukas from Dublin Inter about the game, he said, “We are prepared for this game and confident that we have the ability to win. We were able to catch up with them in the third quarter last weekend so we know we are capable of making a run at them.”


“We need to be more consistent on the three point line as it will open up the rest of our game and help us coming down the stretch. If we focus on breaking down their defence we will be able to win this game.”




Reigning National Cup Champions, Bord Gais Neptune, look like favourites to progress to the next round in this National Cup Clash after their impressive 104-59 win over the Galway side last weekend. Although NUIG Kingfisher is always remarked as a difficult place to play for a team travelling on the road it is difficult to see how it will affect the Cork men with so much confidence and experience on their side.


Ger Noonan of Bord Gais Neptune said, “We will go up and play this game like any other. Moycullen are difficult to play in their home gym, I’m not saying they will go out and beat us by 46 points but they won’t make it easy for us to come away with a result.”


“As National Cup title holders we will always have a target on our backs but we are the same team, we are confident and strong and want to retain the title.”




Another team that seemed to struggle under the pressure of the National Cup last weekend was newcomers Templeogue. They lost the first leg against DCU Saints 48-84 but are hoping for a more positive result this weekend after assessing their performance.


Luke Thompson of Templeogue said, “Although we have put last weekend’s game behind us, we took a lot from the game and are hoping to learn from it going up against DCU Saints this weekend.”


“We will take every game as it comes while focusing on improving our performance week by week. If we can continue to progress and develop as a team the rest will take care of itself and we will start to see some wins.”


Eoin Darling from DCU Saints said, “We are happy with our team effort last weekend but we will treat this game like any other and take it as it comes. We will give it the same importance that we would with any other National Cup or Premier League game and take nothing for granted.”




A similar attitude is sweeping over the UCD Marian and C&S UCC Demons game as last week’s convincing win from the Cork side, 96-65, makes it difficult to see how the Dublin lads can bounce back.


Speaking to Conor Meany of UCD Marian, he said, “We learned a lot in Cork last weekend, they were very clinical as they always are and punished us for the mistakes that we made.”


“Having them come up and play us in UCD will raise our game playing against that high standard of basketball. A tough game like this will help us as it will focus us to work harder which will then pay off over the next few weeks in the league.”


Ciaran O’Sullivan of C&S UCC Demons said, “Everyone in the camp is healthy and ready to go this weekend. We have the comfort of the 31 point advantage but playing in UCD in tough so we know we will need to be at our best and treat the game like any other.”


“This season Colin O’Reilly has thought us that the quickest way to win some silverware is the National Cup. Although it is the toughest and most sought after award we only have three more games to go to win it. So we will take each game as it comes and focus on them one by one.”






In the Women’s Premier League our attention is refocused to the league when reigning National Cup and League Champions, UL Huskies, welcome Killester to Limerick. As the both sides return from a week’s break we are sure that the sides will be eager to return to form.




Meteors will take on Ulster Rockets in the Women’s Premier League this weekend for the second time this season. When both sides meet previously it was the northerners that came out on top of the tight encounter 63-60.


Speaking to Susan Dick of Ulster Rockets she said, “It was a really close game the last time we meet so we have put in a lot of preparation for this game in the hope we will come out on top once more. We are ready to take them on and having Toner back this weekend will definitely make us a tough team to defeat.”


Beth Meany of Meteors said, “Ulster rockets have a lot of great shooters and are always a tough team to play but we are really looking forward to the challenge. We have been improving steadily with every game so we are hoping to continue that this weekend .There was only three points between our two teams when we played earlier this season, so it should be an exciting game on Saturday.”






On Sunday, DCU Mercy will take on WIT Wildcats in the first game of the Women’s National Cup. This game is set to offer fans plenty of excitement as the well matched sides battle it out.


Lindsay Peat of DCU Mercy said, “The National Cup is the most exciting competition in the Irish Basketball calendar and with it brings the excitement of adrenaline rushes and upsets. This weekend will be a very tough test against a WIT Wildcats side who have hit the ground running resulting in a fantastic start to the season. We will have to be fully focused and at our best this weekend to come out on the right side of this game.”


Similarly, Sinead Deegan of WIT Wildcats is eager to come away with a result this weekend, “We’ve a chip on our shoulders after being narrowly defeated in our last two games. After a hard week of training, we are hoping this will be when all the pieces of the puzzle come together for us.”




Monday, November 11th


Men’s National Shield


UCD Marian V Dublin Lions, Oatland College, Dublin, 8:30pm;


Wednesday, November 13th


Men’s National Shield


Swords Thunder V Killester, ALSAA, Dublin, 8:15pm;


Friday, November 15th


U20 Men’s National Cup


Neptune V St. Brendan’s, Neptune Stadium, Cork, 7pm; Tolka Rovers V St. Vincents, Tolka Rovers Sports Complex, Dublin, 8:40pm;


U20 Women’s National Cup


Tolka Rovers V Killester, Tolka Rovers Sports Complex, Dublin 6:45pm;


Saturday, November 16th


Men’s National Cup – Round 1, Leg 2


Dublin Inter V UL Eagles, Mountview Y&C Club, 6:30pm; Moycullen V Bord Gais Neptune, NUIG Kingfisher, 6:30pm; DCU Saints V Templeogue, DCU Sports Complex, Dublin 7pm; UCD Marian V C&S UCC Demons, U

CD Sports Centre, Dublin, 7pm;  Belfast Star V Killester, Methodist College, Belfast, 8pm;


Men’s National Shield


Donegal Town V Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Abbey VS, Donegal, 7pm;        Eanna V St Vincent’s, Colaiste Eanna,5pm;


Women’s Premier League


UL Huskies V Killester, PESS Building, UL, 5pm; Meteors V Ulster Rockets, Colaiste Iosagain, Dublin, 7pm;


Senior Women’s National Cup


Ballincollig V Firhouse Notre Dame, Parochial Hall, Cork, 7:30pm; Portlaoise Panthers V Tolka Rovers, St Mary’s Hall,Laois 7:30pm; Tom McCarthy’s St Mary’s V Killester, Castleisland CC, Kerry 7:30pm; Tralee Imperials V Donegal Town, Mercy Mounthawk, Kerry, 7:30pm; Oblate Dynamos V UL Huskies, Oblate Hall, Dublin, 7pm;


Men’s Division One


JM&L Auctioneer’s Titans V Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Renmore CC,Galway 3pm; Fr Mathews V Swords Thunder, Colaiste Chriost Ri, Cork, 7:15pm;


U20 Men’s National Cup


UCD Marian V Killester, Oatlands College, Stillorgan, 2:30pm; Portlaoise Panthers V Ballincollig, St Mary’s Hall, Laois, 5pm;


U20 Women’s National Cup


Glanmire Ladies V UCD Ladies, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, Cork, 5pm; Templeogue V WIT Wildcats, St Catherine’s, Marrowbone Lane, 3:20pm; St Mary’s V Fr Mathews, Castleisland Community Centre, 2:30pm; Tralee Imperials V Singleton SuperValu Brunell, Mercy Mounthawk, Kerry 1pm;


Sunday 17 November 2013


Women’s National Cup


DCU Mercy V WIT Wildcats, DCU Sports Complex, Dublin, 3:30pm;


Men’s Division One


Tolka Rovers V C&S Blue Demons, Tolka Rovers SC, Dublin, 3pm; Portlaoise Panthers V Team Garvey’s St Mary’s, St Mary’s Hall, Laois, 3:30pm;


Senior Women’s National Cup


IT Carlow V Fr Mathews, IT Carlow, 3pm; Glanmire Ladies V Meteors,         Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, Cork, 2pm;


U20 Men’s National Cup


KUBS V Moycullen, Carroll Arena, Greendale, 1pm; Fr Mathews V Titans, Douglas Community School, Cork, 2pm; UCC Demons Templeogue V Mardyke Arena, Cork 3:15pm; Belfast Star V Limerick Lakers, Methodist College, Belfast, 3:30pm;


U20 Women’s National Cup


DCU Mercy V Titans, DCU Sports Complex, Dublin, 1pm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>