Tuesday 19 September 2017

Rachael Vanderwal (ul)

MAIN EVENT

DCU Saints v Neptune, DCU, tomorrow, 7.0

UNBEATEN thus far, this weekend offers a serious test of DCU Saints' ambitions for the season as they take on Neptune and UL Eagles.

Their fellow northsiders Killester are leading the northern conference on points difference, but it is the visit of the southern frontrunners Neptune that will provide a stern test for David Donnelly's charges at the university's sports centre tomorrow night.

Last weekend the Saints saw off Belfast Star thanks to a virtuoso display from Eoin Darling, who came off the bench to hit 19 points. Their strength in depth will be key against the Cork side, still smarting from their first defeat of the season against Killester last weekend. They will be hoping for more accuracy after missing 21 lay-ups, 19 free throws and giving up 14 turnovers against the champions. Neptune coach Mark Scannell believes his charges will have to play far better defence against a side that have players who can shoot from outside the perimeter.

"Over the years I have learned that Saints will play hard for 40 minutes and they are always dangerous coming down the stretch if they are within a few points of you."

The Dubliners know a win will lay down a serious marker ahead of Monday's second battle with UL.

Verdict: DCU Saints

STAR ATTRACTION

GREAT BRITAIN international Rachael Vanderwal has been a powerful influence in UL's 100pc start to the season and will be key to their efforts against Liffey Celtics tomorrow.

The 28-year-old Canadian-born shooting guard has won 29 international caps and her experience has been vital so far this campaign.

Averaging 19 points an outing in the opening five games, the 5ft 9ins star's game isn't just about her offence -- she is a tenacious defender, particularly one-on-one.

The former Donoughmore player's hard work and energetic play marks her out as the player opponents need to watch when they take on the Limerick students.

HOW THEY STAND

KILLESTER and Neptune lead the way at the top of the men's conferences with the Dubliners ahead of their neighbours DCU on points difference.

UCD Marian will be hoping to close the gap with a win against UL Eagles at Belfield, while Belfast Star and Moycullen will both be looking for their first wins of the season when they face off in Andersontown.

In the Women's Superleague, UL will be confident of making it six from six against newcomers Liffey Celtics, while Glanmire are also unbeaten after four going into their clash with Ulster Rockets.

DCU Mercy take on Killester in a Dublin derby on Sunday.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

3 The number of teams who are still winless -- but at least Moycullen and Killester in the men's Superleague know one of them will get off the mark this weekend.

Dynamos will need to beat Brunell to record their first win.

Superleague fixtures

MEN

Tomorrow

DCU Saints v Neptune, DCU, 7.0; UCD Marian v UL Eagles, UCD, 7.10; Belfast Star v Moycullen, DLS Andersontown, 7.15.

Monday

Killester v Moycullen, IWS, 3.0; DCU Saints v UL Eagles, DCU, 3.30.

Women

Tomorrow

Waterford Wildcats v Meteors, Mercy Gym, 5.0; Dynamos v Brunell, Oblate Hall, 7.0; UL v Liffey Celtics, UL Arena, 7.0; Glanmire v Ulster Rockets, Neptune Stadium, 7.0.

Sunday

DCU Mercy V Killester, DCU, 3.30.

Irish Independent

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