Basketball: Wales star Hall calls on UL Eagles to steady ship against Elks
Published 25/02/2011 | 05:00
The SuperLeague play-offs are fast approaching and the make-up of those participating should become much clearer after this weekend's action.
There is plenty of jostling for position in the southern conference, where just six points separate the top three and UL Eagles will be hoping to steady their ship at home to Ulster Elks tomorrow.
The leaders have wobbled in recent weeks, losing to UCC Demons and going down heavily to northern conference kingpins Killester last weekend.
They are boosted by the return of 6' 7" American Cameron Mitchell and Welsh international Matt Hall says his side were due a blip and need to bounce back against the full-strength Elks.
"We had a disappointing week but it's tough to keep winning all season," he said. "The defeats have refocused us for a tough run in to the end of the season and the play-offs. The Elks have shown they can compete with every team at their best but have struggled to keep it up for 40 minutes."
In contrast, third-placed Neptune are in flying form after wins over UCC Demons and UCD Marion. Tomorrow they meet struggling Moycullen, who are without Cian Nihill.
Neptune coach Pat Price is keen for his side to kick on as they move into the business end of the season. "We are playing with confidence right now, and that is crucial as we approach March," he said.
Price will be hoping Cork rivals Demons struggle against a resurgent Killester in Clontarf.
The Dubliners, who clinched the northern conference last week, face a tough double header against a duo of sides fighting for their play-off lives, as they welcome Belfast Star on Sunday.
Much of Star's fate will depend on their performance against DCU Saints tomorrow night.
"It couldn't get much harder than DCU Saints and Killester on the same weekend," said Star coach Danny Fulton. "If UCD Marian lose their last game we would need one win from four."
In the Women's SuperLeague, Dynamos travel to DCU Mercy on Sunday night knowing their play-off spot is secure, while UL host Killester and Waterford Wildcats are at Meteors.