Noonan knows Neptune must put brakes on Van to halt Cork rivals
TONIGHT'S Cork derby will go a long way to determining which Leeside outfit will contest the play-offs as both hosts UCC Demons and visitors Neptune chase UL Eagles.
Neptune can put some serious distance between the sides with a win that would cancel out the victory Demons captured when the sides last met in November. Four points off their local rivals, the home side would be loath to slip further behind their neighbours.
Marcus Van did the damage for UCC in their last meeting, and Neptune's experienced guard Ger Noonan has pinpointed the American as the dangerman this evening.
"We cannot give 24 points to Marcus Van like we did in the first half of the game we lost in November," he said.
"It's going to be a huge game for us. We are without Michael McGinn but we are quietly confident. We are both chasing second at the moment and we are on the back of three wins so hopefully we can maintain that form. Anything can happen in a derby."
And despite their win in the previous encounter, Demons coach Paul Kelleher is not taking anything for granted at the Mardyke, for which he has a clean bill of health.
"It was a scrappy affair and wasn't the prettiest of games but it was exciting for fans," he said. "We will have to be far more disciplined in this game as Neptune are in fine form and will punish every mistake if we find ourselves being sloppy.
"We will need to rectify our third-quarter syndrome which has been our Achilles heel all season. We will need to rebound the ball better in this game and we will need to take care of the ball."
Killester will look to continue 2011 where they left off in 2010 with a win over northside rivals DCU Saints in DCU on Sunday.
Neptune will be straight back into the action with a home clash against Ulster Elks, while Demons host UCD Marian on Monday night with a day's more rest.
Southern Conference leaders UL travel to Galway on Sunday, with Moycullen coach Enda Byrt well aware of the mammoth task ahead of his struggling outfit who have won just once all season.