Monday 21 August 2017

Basketball: Kelleher sure Demons can hold own in tough Eagles cup clash

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

UCC DEMONS head coach Paul Kelleher is confident his side can put it up to southern conference leaders UL Eagles in tomorrow night's Superleague National Cup quarter-final clash.

Despite losing to Killester last weekend, Kelleher saw enough in the display to encourage him that his charges are on the right track. Demons tested the northern conference leaders before falling to a 90-82 defeat and while they will need to improve against a strong UL side, the coach is hopeful his team can deliver.

The defeat was Demons' first in six outings and they know there's no shame in losing to the north Dubliners, who have been unstoppable this season.

"We did some nice things on offence and defence last week and we turned in our best single-half performance in the first half," Kelleher said.

physical

"UL have a big, physical team with a wealth of experience in all positions and I'm sure they will be looking to take advantage of their physical presence.

"Scott Kinevane will look to lead UL, while they will look to keep Cameron Mitchell as their scoring threat."

The Eagles boast a clean bill of health and are top of a tight southern conference table and coach Mark Bernson rates UCC highly.

"They have played at a very high level throughout the first half of the season," he said. "They have a team that seems to have all the parts: great post play, excellent wings and guard play that has been in top form all year."

A week on from beating DCU Saints in the league, UCD Marian will look to the repeat the trick by knocking them out of the cup.

It was a strong performance from the southsiders, who ran out 81-69 winners, but DCU bounced back 24 hours later to beat Belfast Star.

The weather has forced the match to be moved from UCD to the Glendale Arena, but Marian will be boosted by the return of Barry Glover and Dan James from injury, while DCU have new signing from America, Pat Crean, in their ranks.

Ulster Elks are sweating over the availability of Kevin Foley and Ciaran MacEvilly for their derby cup clash against Star at Ulster HPC on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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