Maxol WIT Wildcats head coach Dimitris Zacharis reacts to a great score by the home team in their recent win over DCU. He’ll be looking for more of the same from his team this Saturday night. Photo: Noel Browne.
The Mercy Sports Hall is the place to be this Saturday night November, 10th at 7pm if you want passion, the desire to win and pure entertainment as Maxol WIT Wildcats clash with neighbours Marble City Hawks. How both teams are doing in the league will have little relevance when this game tips off as the result will not just give the winners valuable league points but also those all important bragging rights.
Losing to your neighbouring team hurts more than to any other team so for both sides, losing is not an option. However there’s no such thing as a draw in basketball as was the case in this year’s pre-season tournament when Kilkenny edged out Wildcats in overtime by a single point. A similar result simply cannot happen in front of our wonderful supporters says Wildcats team captain Sinead Deegan, reflecting back to Wildcats last game at home to NUIG – Galway.
Sinead credits those same supporters who lifted Wildcats with their encouragement to snatch victory in the dying moments of overtime. “Many of our supporters thought the Galway game was a humdinger said Sinead and I have no doubt as the game was close all the way people enjoyed it. But the reality is as a unit our performance on the night was far from what’s required if we are to be contenders come play off time next March. Some individuals played well and got us over the line. If you reflect back to our previous league game v DCU when we won by 12 points thanks to what was our best team performance for some time, that’s exactly what’s required if we are to come out on top this Saturday night.
“Hawks have signed a exceptional player from the States and of course they have “our Katie.” Sinead refers to former Wildcat Katie Fox who still remains an all time favourite with many Wildcats supporters. Elaine Kennington and Rachel Butler are two other former Wildcats will also line out and would love to give the victory salute at the final buzzer. Wildcats American Ellen Graham is still out with a knee injury and will be for some time. She attends a specialist this week to consider surgery to repair her injury. All other Wildcats are ready to go and no doubt coach Dimitris Zacharias will have have analysed the opposition in preparation for what should be a special sporting occasion.
Well done to Wildcats who have qualified for the quarter finals of the U-18 National Cup. They played in a qualifying tournament in Belfast last weekend with two teams out of five to go through to the quarter finals. Their first game was against hosts Ulster Elks and while it was tight for some time, Wildcats eventually won 61-46.
In their next game, Dublin Titans provided the opposition but again Wildcats proved to be the better side winning 60-21. At the same time Liffey Celtics were winning their games comfortably but now play Wildcats in what was expected to be the game of the tournament. As expected it was a classic with the Kildare side winning by a single point 47-46 and that win guaranteed them a place in the national quarter finals. However Wildcats had one more chance to make it through and Dynamos from Dublin south side stood in the way. But not for long as Wildcats ran out easy winners 54-32 to go through to those coveted final stages later this month