Killester eye moy' culling
The 2011-12 play-off picture will become a lot clearer this weekend as the conclusion to the regular season draws nearer.
In the Nivea For Men's SuperLeague, 11890 Killester edged out UCD Marian midweek and despite securing second place in the Northern Conference, they will be keen to continue their recent winning form away to Moycullen.
Despite suffering the disappointment of failing to reach the play-offs, Moycullen will be heartened by a much improved season, which has seen them record four wins to date and they can count themselves unlucky not to have added to that tally.
In a unique situation, Belfast Star will take on UCC Demons twice in the space of as many days. Unfortunately, Star's recent revival, which has included back-to-back wins, has come too late with a place in the play-offs now beyond them.
That's not the case for Demons, who are desperate to claim the Southern Conference, which would guarantee home advantage in the semi-finals. Demons are favourites to claim that position after wins over UL Eagles and UCD Marian in their last round of games.
UCD Marian put on a good showing against Killester in their last encounter and will see the play-offs as an opportunity to finally make a mark this season.
Their clash with UL Eagles today will give spectators the opportunity to check out their recent Irish American signing Owen McNally, who has been drafted in as a replacement for Donnie Stith. As it currently stands, it appears third place is looking the best option for cup heroes UL Eagles in the Southern Conference.
That would result in a tricky quarter-final clash away to Killester, but their performance in the National Cup final shows they are a serious match for the reigning champions.
Bord Gais Neptune will need to do something they haven't done this year and beat Northern Conference winners DCU Saints. A win is a must if they are to maintain the pressure on fierce rivals UCC Demons at the top of the Southern Conference.
In the Nivea Women's SuperLeague, DCU Mercy have a busy weekend on the horizon as they meet 11890 Killester today before facing Ulster Rockets a day later.
Meteors have a daunting challenge tomorrow, when they entertain a UL outfit, looking for their 31st consecutive win.
Waterford Wildcats make the trip to Singleton's Super Valu Brunell, hoping to maintain their play-off charge, while Liffey Celtics host Oblate Dynamos.
Nivea for Men's SuperLeague: Moycullen v 11890 Killester, NUIG Kingfisher, 7.0; UCD Marian v UL Eagles, UCD Sports Centre, 7.10; Belfast Star v UCC Demons, DLS Anderstown, 7.15
Nivea Women's SuperLeague: 11890 Killester v DCU Mercy, IWA, 6.0; Liffey Celtics v Oblate Dynamos, Leixlip Amenities Centre, 7.30
Basketball Ireland Men's Division One: Matt O'Flaherty Chemist Titans v Maree, Renmore Community Centre, 7.0; Team Left Bank Kilkenny v Neptune, O'Loughlin Gaels GAA Club, 7.0; Team Loftus Recycling Ballina v CHM Ballon, Ballina Sports & Leisure Centre,7.30; Team Meadowlands St.Brendan's v Blue Demons, Mercy Mounthawk, 7.30
Basketball Ireland Women's Division One: Team Tom McCarthy's St Mary's v Meteors, Castleisland Community Centre, 7.45
Nivea for Men's SuperLeague: DCU Saints v Bord Gais Neptune, DCU Sports Complex, 4.0; Belfast Star v UCC Demons, UUJ, 3.0
Nivea Women's SuperLeague: DCU Mercy v Ulster Rockets, DCU Sports Complex, 2.0; Brunell v Waterford Wildcats, Parochial Hall, 2.45; Meteors v UL, Colaiste Eoin/Iosagain, 3.0.