Hula Hoops National Cup Semi-Final Preview

Hula Hoops National Cup Semi-Final Preview

  • Jan 07,2016
January may be the bleakest month of the year, but try telling that to the basketball community. There’s already been a crucial round of league fixtures, the biggest weekend is at the end of the month and the busiest is just days away. There will be 20 games in 10 competitions across four heaving venues this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – it’s the Hula Hoops National Cup Semi-Finals. 

“We love January,” says Team Montenotte Hotel’s Niamh Dwyer. “We love the cup and everything that goes with it.” It was no coincidence that Glanmire lost her services on the day they lost to Maxol WIT Wildcats for the first time in half a decade. A torn ACL has ruled her out for the rest of the club season. Not that it’s dented her spirit.

“You saw how we reacted [to her injury],” she said. “Winning the next week against Killester was our best performance of the season and that was without me and Grainne [Dwyer, her sister] was only coming back.” 

Team Montenotte Hotel play Meteors on Saturday with both sides out of action since December 19th. “It gave us time to focus on ourselves and that was no bad thing,” said Dwyer. On the other side of the draw, both Maxol WIT Wildcats and Pyrobel Killester can say they’re having good seasons to date. 

“The Wildcats love winning,” says their American point guard Katie Fox.  “We never take it for granted. Winning our sixth game was just as sweet as winning our first.  The Wildcats are not stereotypical, stringing individuals into one club. They are a family and I wouldn't want to be a part of any other club.”

Friday sees GCD Swords Thunder head down the M8 to face C&S UCC Demons in the Men’s National Cup. Head Coach Dave Baker says: “It’s always a tough trip to Cork playing the Champs in their own gym but we haven’t tested Demons so far. That’s our goal – test them, get into the fourth quarter and see what happens if it’s a close game.” 

It will be a year to the day since Demons vanquished Thunder in the same fixture. Niall Murphy believes things are different this time around. 

“Jack O’Mahony is only 18 and Roy [Downey] and Darko [Bucan] were with Neptune last season and Liam [Carmody] stepped up from Division One,” according to the Demons stalwart. “People talk about being in transition but we’ve six players who are 21 or younger. It’s a big step up and it’s a matter of gelling. It’s a big change from last year but we’re getting there, slowly but surely.” 

Templeogue take a 10-0 streak into their Men’s Semi-Final with Pyrobel Killester. Coach Mark Keenan believes: “The group that we have, we’re able to come together when we need to come together. Jason Killeen got some minutes last weekend to so we’re in good shape ” 

Only NUIG Mystics can match Templeogue for form in the National League. The Galway side meet Ulster Rockets in the Senior Women’s Semi-Final with Fr. Mathews playing Oblate Dynamos beforehand at the Parochial Hall. 

At Neptune Stadium, defending Presidents’ National Cup holders C&S Blue Demons meet non-league Pyrobel Killester while Fr Mathews versus Maree BC is an all-Division One fixture. 

Friday 8 January 2016
Hula Hoops Men's National Cup Semi-Final
C&S UCC Demons v GCD Swords Thunder, Mardyke Arena, Cork, 20:00

Saturday 9 January 2016
Hula Hoops Women's National Cup Semi-Finals
Maxol WIT Wildcats v Pyrobel Killester, Mardyke Arena, Cork, 18:00
Team Montenotte Hotel v Meteors BC, Mardyke Arena, Cork, 20:00

Hula Hoops Men's National Cup Semi-Final
Pyrobel Killester v Templeogue BC, Mardyke Arena, 16:00

Hula Hoops President's National Cup Semi-Finals
C&S Blue Demons v Pyrobel Killester, Neptune Stadium, 14:00
Fr Mathews v Maree BC, Neptune Stadium, 16:00

Hula Hoops U20 Women's National Cup Semi-Finals
Liffey Celtics v Killester, Parochial Hall, Cork, 12:00

Hula Hoops U18 Men's National Cup Semi-Finals
Maree BC v BFG Neptune, Neptune Stadium, Cork, 10:00
Tolka Rovers v Moycullen BC, Neptune Stadium, Cork, 12:00

Hula Hoops U18 Women's National Cup Semi-Finals
Brunell BC v Portlaoise Panthers BC, Parochial Hall, Cork, 10:00
DCU Mercy v Fr Mathews, Parochial Hall, Cork, 14:00

Sunday 10 January 2016
Hula Hoops Senior Women's National Cup Semi-Finals
Oblate Dynamos v Fr Mathews, Parochial Hall, Cork, 10:00
NUIG Mystics v Ulster Rockets, Parochial Hall, Cork, 12:00

Hula Hoops U20 Men's National Cup Semi-Finals
Moycullen v St. Vincent's, Neptune Stadium, Cork, 13:00
BFG Neptune v Templeogue, Neptune Stadium, Cork, 15:00

Hula Hoops U20 Women's National Cup Semi-Final
DCU Mercy v Brunell BC, Parochial Hall, Cork, 14:00

Hula Hoops Women’s National Intermediate Club Championship Semi-Finals
Tridents, Dublin v Limerick Celtics, St. Mary’s Hall, Portlaoise, 10:30
Ballincollig BC v Muckno Lakers, St. Mary’s Hall, Portlaoise, 12:30

Hula Hoops Men’s National Intermediate Club Championship Semi-Finals
Cork Celts v St. Brendan’s Tralee, St. Mary’s Hall, Portlaoise, 14:30
UCD Marian v BC Leixlip Nemunas, St. Mary’s Hall, Portlaoise, 16:30

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