Belfast Telegraph

Darren leads his boys back in bid for a Star turn in league fortunes

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill is hoping a three-week break will have his men fully charged for a huge All Ireland Superleague double header this weekend.

Star kick off with a tough clash tonight at home to National Cup winners Swords Thunder who will start as heavy favourites before then travelling to Dublin on Sunday to face Templeogue, who just happen to be top of the All Ireland Superleague.

It could hardly be any more difficult for the Star men whose fortunes have fluctuated quite dramatically at times this season, while ongoing offensive problems have hurt the Belfast men all too often.

Coach O'Neill has worked diligently with his troops through the past weeks and wants to see the Star men express themselves this evening against Thunder in MCB (tip-off 8.00pm).

"All year we have had a problem with putting the ball in the basket and sometimes it can just be a case of trying to force the baskets because there's a lack of confidence.

"We've done a lot of drills and hopefully that can change," says O'Neill.

"Defensively we have improved this year and we want to get even better.

"We have managed to restrict teams to low scores and hopefully we can keep bringing the same intensity.

"We know how tough Thunder are, they have a very strong bench and we will be ready for them."

Star's American Dillon Stith will need to be one of those players feeling refreshed as O'Neill needs him to return to hitting an average of 30 points a game to give his men any chance of an upset victory.

Arguably the clash of the weekend will be tomorrow night when Tralee Warriors take on Killester.

Having lost just one game at home so far this year - to league leaders Templeogue - Tralee sit just one spot above Killester.

Belfast Telegraph

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