Moycullen will be hoping to put last weekend's 71-68 loss behind them when they welcome Templeogue to the NUI Galway Kingfisher at 7.30pm on Saturday.
The Super League side were left kicking themselves for failing to secure a home victory against C&S Neptune at the weekend. It was a loss made all the more bitter given that Moycullen led right up until the final two minutes of the game, and had held a 16-point lead midway through the third quarter.
In the first half everything seemed to be going right for the home side. One of Neptune’s main attacking threats, Nil Sabata, went down with a knee injury, and a couple more of Neptune’s key-men got into foul trouble and had to sit on the bench. Also able to exploit Neptune’s lack of quickness on the defensive end, with Grant Olsson and James Conaire running in the fastbreak scores, Moycullen led by seven at half-time, and were very much in the driver’s seat.
In the third quarter, Joseph Tummon and Grant Olsson looked solid inside, and they each chipped in as Moycullen further increased their lead, but crucially Neptune managed to reduce Moycullen’s lead to six entering the fourth.
When Neptune guard Kyle Hosford was ejected following a quick pair of technical fouls, Moycullen might have felt the victory within their grasp.
Sadly though, some poor decision-making from Moycullen meant they failed to score on a handful of possessions, leaving the door open to their Cork opposition.
Moycullen were ahead by three with just over two minutes to play, but in the blink of an eye, Neptune ran in two layups and seized the lead for the first time.
Under pressure, Moycullen somewhat panicked and forced three-point shots on consecutive possessions, neither of which went down.
When Grant Olsson missed a free-throw in the dying moments, Moycullen ran out of opportunities, and so Neptune escaped Galway with the win.
Moycullen Coach John Cunningham was left to rue his sides inability to close out the game.
“After Tralee last week, I thought we got the right response from an effort and hustle point of view, but I think we were so anxious to get the win that being ahead nearly worked against us.
“I really feel for the lads tonight because, at this level, the game is split between effort and execution, and despite us winning the effort battle most nights, we’ve got some work to do in the execution department,” he added.
Moycullen will be hoping to put this loss behind them when they welcome Templeogue to the NUI Galway Kinngfisher at 7.30pm on Saturday.
Moycullen: Grant Olsson (21 ), Joseph Tummon (11 ), James Conaire (7 ), Paul Kelly (7 ), Conor Curran (7 ), Dylan Cunningham (6 ), Josh Marvesely (5 ), Paddy Lyons (2 ), Daniel Vila (2 ), Kyle Cunningham, Dara Kenna, James LyonsCoach: John Cunningham Asst. Coach: Gerald Lyons.
Maree were defeated 87-70 by hosts Pyrobel Killester on Saturday evening, but pushed them all the way to the final buzzer. Good scoring from Mintautas Bulanovas and a sstrong display from Tomas Fernandez helped Killester over the line, while Maree’s Darin Johnson was to the fore for the Galway side, finishing the game out with 26 points, but despite his best efforts the Dubliners had too much in the end.
In the Women's Super League, Pyrobel Killester also held on at the death to secure home victory against Maree on Saturday evening, 74-71. It was nip and tuck between the sides throughout the first half, with Killester just edging it at the break, 29-27. A superb display from Killester’s Christa Reed caused multiple problems for the Maree defence as the third quarter got underway, and despite good work from Carol McCarthy and Claire Rockall, Killester had opened up a 59-50 point lead going into the last. A big push from the visitors in the fourth, though, saw them close the gap, and scores from Aine McDonagh and Fiona Scally for kept the board ticking over, but Reed and Aisling McCann stepped up for Killester, and held their cool to secure the win.