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Brunell and Mathews face-off in cup semi

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 4:57pm

It's a basketball bonanza on Leeside this weekend as the city hosts its annual cup semi-final festival from Friday to Sunday.

Three Cork teams are in action looking to book their spot in the finals, with the weekend tipping-off with a huge local derby on Friday night in the Mardyke.

Singleton SuperValu Brunell and Fr Mathew face off in the Paudie O'Connor Cup at 8.30pm in the first of two semi-finals, with DCU Mercy and Courtyard Liffey Celtics playing the second game on Saturday.

In terms of league form, Brunell and Mathews are of a similar standing with Fr Mathews just ahead on 18 points in fourth place in the table while Brunell are in fifth on 15 points.

Both teams enjoyed a wining start to 2019 last weekend. NUIG Mystics lost out to Fr Mathews at home, 51-68. Sisters Niamh and Grainne Dwyer contributed 30 points between them for the visitors to see them home to victory, while Brunell defeated Pyrobel Killester, 72-66, in a fast-paced and competitive game at the Parochial Hall on Sunday.

Meanwhile, with no senior men's team from Cork involved in the Pat Duffy Cup, the county's hopes rely solely on Tradehouse Central Ballincollig who face Limerick Celtic in the Division 1 Cup in the men's competition.

However, in less than perfect timing, the big upset of last weekend saw Ballincollig suffer their first defeat of the season when they lost out 85-96 at home to KUBS in the first cross conference game of the season. A whopping 44 points from Elijah Tillman for KUBS proved the difference on the night.

Regardless of the result, Ballincollig are flying high at the top of the table in the Southern Conference in the National League with 16 wins in 17, and they take on Limerick Celtics whose fortunes have been more mixed in the league with nine wins and eight losses so far this season. Tip-off in that game is at 6pm on Saturday in Neptune Stadium. The game is preceded by the other semi-final between IT Carlow and Bad Bob's Tolka Rovers at 2pm.

Saturday also sees the two Pat Duffy semi-finals play out when UCD Marian take on Belfast Star at 4pm and Pyrobel Killester play Garvey's Tralee Warriors at 8pm, with both down for decision at the Mardyke Arena.

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