Maree women's basketballers are on the brink of a rare double. Having already won this year's division one national cup, the Galway outfit now heads to Limerick intent on adding the league title.
Hot favourites, they will face Limerick Celtics in Limerick on Saturday - a side they have already beaten in the league and the cup this season, by 30 points on both occasions.
Last weekend, fresh from capturing the division one cup, the women’s side travelled to the midlands on Saturday to take on Portlaoise Panthers, who were just three points behind them in the table.
A win for the home side by six points or more would have seen them take over at the top of the Southern Conference, and leave them as firm favourites to claim the division one title outright. However, it was Maree who showed the class of champions to crush their nearest rivals and leave them one win away from a league and cup double.
Claire Rockall was in stunning form, hitting 27 points, eight rebounds and nine assists; while Dayna Finn chipped in with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists.
Maree, having led 22-10 at the end of the first quarter, were out of sight by half-time, leading 46-24. Although the home side tried to rally in the third quarter, hitting three consecutive three-pointers, Carol McCarthy replied with two of her own for Maree to see them lead 70-43 at the end of the third quarter. Finn hit a three for the last score of the game to see Maree break the 100-point mark for the first time this season, running out 100-54 winners.
Maree : Carol McCarthy (10 ), Dayna Finn (24 ), Claire Rockall (27 ), Catherine Connaire (9 ), Fiona Scally (12 ), Maggie Byrne (4 ), Nicola O’Connell, Alison Blaney (9 ), Laoise Walsh (5 ).
The men’s Superleague side capped a memorable weekend for the Oranmore-based club when defeating Swords Thunder 74-64 in Calasanctius College on Saturday night to leapfrog the Dublin side in the table and, in the process, move 9 points clear of bottom placed Moycullen.
Maree led at the end of all four quarters for a sixth win of the season, with Dutchman Niels Bunschoten leading the way with 28 points.
They led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter, 38-33 at half-time, and 53-46 at the end of the third quarter, and while there were some nervy moments in the fourth quarter, they closed out the win to avenge their 82-69 loss to Swords in Dublin in October.
Maree take on UCC Demons this Saturday (5pm ). The game is being played in the sports hall of St Mary’s College in the city, and a win will see Mike Lynch’s side join the Cork outfit on 21 points.
Maree : Niels Bunschoten (28 ), Sean Sellers (18 ), Eoin Rockall (9 ), Kenneth Hansberry (8 ), Paul Freeman (6 ), Stephen Commins (5 ), Toms Fabricuss, Charlie Crowley, John Burke, Enda Walsh, Ciaran Blaney, Ciaran Harte.