PREVIEW: Super League Cup games set to thrill
January 24, 2019
“Last year, we played the occasion, not the game – that was our biggest mistake and we’re going to try and avoid that this year,” mused UCD Marian head coach, Ioannis Liapakis ahead of their Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup final showdown with Pyrobel Killester this Saturday night.
Marian were beaten on the big stage by Templeogue in the decider last year, and are hoping that this year’s Dublin derby will see the Cup winging it’s way to the south Dublin club for the first time since 2011.
Killester will certainly be aiming for the same though, having lost the 2017 Cup final to Griffith College Swords Thunder, they haven’t seen Cup glory since 2010 and will be aiming to bring back some coveted silverware this weekend. This isn’t the first time these sides have met in big showdowns or indeed, this year. UCD Marian pipped Killester by a point from the free throw line in the Men’s Super League play off last year to win the league title for the first time in 40 years. They have also met twice so far this season, with UCD Marian winning both clashes – most recently last Saturday night when they won out by 20 points. This weekend’s battle is set to be a completely different ball game though, and certainly not one to be missed.
Over in the Women’s Hula Hoops Paudie O’Connor National Cup final meanwhile the stage is set for a first-time winner as Courtyard Liffey Celtics and Singleton SuperValu Brunell go head-to-head on Sunday evening. It is a first Cup final appearance for Singleton SuperValu Brunell after they overcame Fr Mathews in a cracking Cork derby semi-final to reach their first final, while Liffey appeared in their first final in 2017 losing out to Glanmire. Whatever happens on Sunday, a new piece of basketball history will be written as one of them will secure Cup honours for the first time ever. Courtyard Liffey Celtics go into the game with the favourites tag as they currently sit top of the Women’s Super League table unbeaten so far this season with a 10-0 record. Brunell, who sit in fifth place, come into the game off the back of a big win against DCU Mercy last weekend and head coach, Tim O’Halloran is hoping the confidence from that win will carry forward into Sunday’s decider.
“We’re on a bit of a run now, the spirits are high,” he reflected. “It’s always good to have a win going into the Cup, we’ll have to put the league aside now and hopefully create a bit of history on Sunday.”
You can view both of the games live on TG4.