Liffey Celtics

Podcast Ep 18: Mark Woods & Emmet Ryan – Irish National Cup & NBA London

We finally welcome Belfast man and the UK’s top basketball journalist Mark Woods onto the The Courtside Collective Podcast for a wide ranging discussion that spans from the Irish Superleague glory days right through to the present day.

Then Ball in Europe’s Emmet Ryan comes on to breakdown the Irish Cup Semi Finals with Niall and Mark.

Please note we recorded this Podcast on the road so some slight audio issues – apologies!


Ulster Rockets vs Waterford Wildcats Preview

Meghan Houlihan is currently the 3rd top scorer in the Irish women's league

Ulster Rockets have an important fixture this weekend against 6th placed Waterford Wildcats. It has been a challenging first season for the Belfast-side but the team hopes to make one last push for the playoffs, which includes the top 6 teams in the league. Rockets are coming off a win against Liffey Celtics (54-46) last weekend and will be looking to advance in the table with a victory. The Wildcats are also coming off a win on the road against Oblate Dynamos (60-49) and will also be aware of the importance of this game as the season draws to an end.

The Courtside Collective met with Meghan Houlihan from the Ulster Rockets. Houlihan works for PeacePlayers International in Belfast and is in her second playing with the Rockets. Houlihan is currently ranked as the third top scorer in the Irish women’s Superleague, averaging 16-points a game:

What are your team focusing on this weekend?

It’s a big game this weekend and both teams are going to be highly motivated as we compete for the last playoff spot. At this point in the season, we need to continue to work together, stay patient, move with purpose on offense, make good decisions in transition, and stay aggressive on defense.

Rockets currently sit at 7th place in the league, what is important in helping the team to secure the final playoff spot?

I think we’ve gotten better every game, and I think it’s important that we continue to improve until the final game of the season. It’s cliche, but in order to make the playoffs we’ll have to do all the little things – boxing out, diving for loose balls, setting good screens, and communicating on the court.

What has helped the team remain in playoff contention?

I know that a lot of people doubted whether or not we should move up to the SuperLeague this season and I think that motivated us. Regardless of where we finish, we’ve proven that we belong here. There is a very competitive basketball community in Northern Ireland and the girls on this team are very committed to becoming better players. Every single player on this team contributes to our success, and I am highly motivated by the girls that show up to practice every week and force me to work hard and improve my game.