ST Brendans coach Rick Leonard is hoping his side's previous National League and Superleague experience will stand to them in their Senior Men's National Cup semi-final with Blue Demons this weekend. Leonard is also holding out hope that Kieran Donaghy might play a part in Saturday's big game.
MEN NATIONAL CUP SEMI-FINAL
ST BRENDANS V BLUE DEMONS
Saturday, January 12 at 4pm in Neptune Stadium, Cork
"We're hoping we can get him released to play some part in the game. We know his football takes precedence over basketball, but with the Kerry game on Sunday we're hoping to get a pass for him. You don't need to be told that we're much stronger with him than without him."
Leonard will have Donaghy's one time Kerry team mate Micheál Quirke available to him.
"He's been training well and playing well. With the experience he has that's a big plus to us."
Leonard will also be available to feature for a spell if required, even if, as he says himself, it's not always desirable to him.
"When called upon I still like to be ready," he says.
The Tralee outfit are at an obvious disadvantage in that they are not playing in the National League this season, replying instead on a diet of county league action. Nevertheless with the experience they have – with guys like Jason Quirke, Fergal O'Sullivan and Mark Mitchell featuring – they've had a successful cup run against National League sides. They defeated Templeogue and Maree along the way to this semi-final.
"We've hoping with the experience that we have that we can give them a good game," Leonard says.
The Tralee club have been boosted this week with the victory of their Under 16 squad in the KBB Under 16 Cup final. After a tight game they surged in the final few moments to run out 50 to 44 winners over St Marys.