BELFAST Star are riding high, having won four from four against DBS Éanna in 2022, and they will be keen to maintain that 100 per cent record when they host the Dublin aces at De La Salle College in the InsureMyVan.ie Super League on Saturday (tip-off 6.30pm).
This will be the final home game of the regular season for Adrian Fulton's charges and the first of two games against the North Conference leaders on consecutive weekends as Star travel to face the Dublin outfit next week.
To close the six-point gap, a pair of victories will do and the Belfast outfit will be hoping to use home advantage to gain what would be a vital victory as they bid to reach the playoffs.
With three away games to follow this weekend, signing off from La Salle with a win could be the springboard for those games and while their previous meeting against DBS Éanna at La Salle ended in a 98-69 cup defeat earlier in the season, Fulton believes his side is in a much better place now.
“Éanna have delivered consistent high level performances throughout the season and are top of the North Conference for that reason,” he accepts.
“They gave us a battering in the cup, but we are a much improved team since Christmas. We will need to raise our level of play once again, but we are on a nice run of form and hopefully we can keep that going.”
The visitors return to Belfast in fine from having won on the road at UCD Marian last week and are unbeaten in the league since mid-November, although they did lose their cup semi-final to eventual winners Tralee Warriors last month.
They will be determined to push for league honours and victory this weekend will all but secure top spot in the North Conference, reckons coach Darren McGovern.
“We are looking forward to the Star match-up. We both have similar styles of play, so it will be an exciting game.
“They have hit some good form, so we know it'll be a battle for us, something our guys haven't backed down from all season.”
Elsewhere this weekend, Ulster University's women face into a doubleheader in Division One as they make the short trip to the Lisburn Racquets Club on Saturday to take on Phoenix Rockets (t.o. 6.30pm) before hitting the motorway for the long trip to the University of Limerick Arena where they take on the Limerick Sport Huskies on Sunday at 3pm.
UU men are also away this weekend as they head to Ballymakenny College for their Division One game against Drogheda Wolves on Saturday (7.30pm).