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Students going in for the kill'

Champions from 2013 meet the favourites to lift the title in 2014 tomorrow in Basketball Ireland's Men's Premier League as C&S UCC Demons host UL Eagles in Cork's Mardyke Arena.

With Demons riding high atop the league table and undefeated in their 10 league games to date, defending champions UL Eagles will know that anything other than a win this weekend will all but end their hopes of claiming the crown for a third successive season.

Eagles' record currently stands at six wins and four losses and places them some 11 points adrift of Demons with only eight games remaining.

"We know that it is win-or-bust this weekend. A win brings us back within touching distance but anything less leaves us just way too far back," admitted Eagles veteran guard Matt Hall. "We have a lot of talent in our squad but have not quite clicked so far this season. Injuries played a big part of that but we are in full health now and really need this win."

The sides' only other meeting this year was a thrilling encounter in Limerick, where Demons survived courtesy of a last-minute Lehmon Colbert basket that handed his side a two-point win.

This weekend's game could well be a banana skin for Demons whose players could be forgiven for having an eye on next Friday night's National Cup final.

Demons' opponents next Friday, Dublin Inter, are also in action this weekend, playing tonight at 7pm away to Templeogue, who they will expect to defeat.

RIVALS

Elsewhere in the Men's Premier League this weekend, old Dublin rivals UCD Marian and Killester lock horns in what promises to be a tight and tense affair in Clontarf's IWA Centre.

It remains to be seen how Killester bounce back after their crushing overtime loss in the National Cup semi-final last week to Demons after having led the entire game. They sit second in the table and will be eager not to lose any ground on top-spot.

Rounding off the men's weekend fixtures are the meetings of DCU Saints and Belfast Star in Belfast, and the clash of SSE Renewables Moycullen and Bord Gáis Neptune in Galway.

The Women's Premier League features a clash between two of the heavyweights in the game when DCU Mercy and Team Montenotte meet Saturday night in Glanmire.

The sides met last weekend in the National Cup semi-final with Montenotte winning a bruising encounter by nine points, 62–53. Montenotte were led on the night by an inspired Emilee Harmon who poured in a season-high 25 points and will surely be a marked woman tonight.

Coincidentally, the two other semi-finalists also meet this weekend when UL Huskies play Killester.

Weekend Fixtures

TODAY

Men's Premier League

SSE Renewables Moycullen v Bord Gáis Neptune, Kingfisher Arena, 6.30pm; Templeogue v Dublin Inter, Oblate Hall, 7pm; Killester v UCD Marian, IWA Clontarf, 8pm.

Women's Premier League

Ulster Rockets v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, Methodist College, 3.45pm; Killester v UL Huskies, IWA Clontarf, 6pm; Team Montenotte Hotel v DCU Mercy, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, 7pm; Meteors v WIT Wildcats, Coláiste íosagáin, 7pm.

Men's Division One

Swords Thunder v Team Garvey's St Mary's, ALSAA, 7pm ; Fr Mathew's v Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Coláiste Chríost Rí, 7.15pm; Maree v C&S Blue Demons, Calasanctius College, 7.45pm.

Women's Division One

IT Carlow v Oblate Dynamos, IT Carlow, 3pm; NUIG Mystics v Tralee Imperials, NUIG Kingfisher 4pm.

U18

South Tipp Titans v Killester, Monroe Gym, 6pm.

TOMORROW

Men's Premier League

C&S UCC Demons v UL Eagles, Mardyke Arena, 3.30pm; Belfast Star v DCU Saints, Methodist College, 3.30pm.

Women's Premier League

Ulster Rockets v Liffey Celtics, Methodist College, 1pm.

U18 Men's National Shield

Dublin Lions v Ballincollig, Coláiste Bríde, 2pm.

U18 Women's National Shield

Malahide v Clare Cascaders, Malahide CS, 12 noon; Tralee Imperials v Oblate Dynamos, Mercy Mounthawk, 3pm.


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