Monday 1 May 2017

Basketball: Saints star Donnelly bids to build on Killester scalp

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

HAVING taken the scalp of the season last weekend in ending Killester's 10-month unbeaten record, DCU Saints are hoping to keep their momentum going with the visit of UL Eagles to campus tomorrow afternoon.

The students stunned the runaway northern conference leaders in an 88-81 north Dublin derby win, and the southern frontrunners now visit the capital against a different proposition aiming to hold on to second place and a semi-final berth.

Eagles maintained their fine form with victory over Moycullen last weekend, but DCU have the wind in their sails, according to point guard Emmet Donnelly, who scored 15 points last Saturday.

"The confidence has been restored with the big win against Killester and it was a much-needed boost ahead of another tough game," he said.

"UL Eagles are a very strong team, so we'll have to produce a similar performance to have a chance of overturning them. On our day we can beat anyone, as we have shown, but we're looking to improve our consistency as the play-offs approach."

DCU are sweating over the fitness of Eoin Quill, who has a calf problem, but UL coach Mark Bernson -- whose side have won three on the trot -- is aware of the quality the hosts possess.

"The Saints, as always, are quite a challenge -- good players, well-coached and in obvious great form after their big, but not surprising win last week," he said.

Killester will look to bounce straight back to winning ways against Belfast Star, whom they host in Clontarf.

Star coach Danny Fulton is wary of the leaders' ability to recover from their shock defeat.

"Killester are excellent, but I thought they might lose one game -- it's tough to win them all," he said. "Sadly for us, that was last week: they'll be even more determined this week to play well."

UCD Marian are hoping for their luck -- and health -- to improve after their squad was hit by a flu bug ahead of last week's loss to UCC Demons. They host Ulster Elks on Saturday, hoping to return to winning ways. Moycullen visit UCC Demons in Sunday's clash.

In the Women's SuperLeague, DCU Mercy host UL in the pick of the action tomorrow, while Meteors travel to Wildcats and Team Montenotte Hotel host Killester.

Irish Independent

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