Moycullen head to Templeogue for Saturday's next Super League basketball outing with a renewed spring in their step.
Having pulled off an important 107 to 85 victory away to Neptune, Moycullen need to maintain that momentum to avoid relegation as the season draws to a close.
Coach John Cunningham says: "All we can do is focus on one game at a time, and see where we end up in three games' time.”
However, confidence is a funny thing in a sporting contest. Moycullen, having entered Saturday’s basketball contest in Cork's Neptune Stadium, off the back of a disappointing loss to bottom-of-the-table Dublin Lions, and a comprehensive defeat to league leaders Tralee, found their form to deliver a super victory.
A quote from one game preview in the national media highlighted something Moycullen latched onto in the week prior to the game: “When asked about Moycullen in Neptune Stadium, some Neptune people would say the Galway men shoot their best in that arena.“ All the Moycullen players have grown up playing big games in Neptune and have won many underage cup semis there, shooting the ball really well…. hence, confidence.
Buoyed by that, Moycullen started well with Patrick Lyons immediately blowing by his marker for an easy lay-up. Dylan Cunningham had a hot hand early, converting on a rare four-point play and a second three pointer in the early stages, and finished with 10 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in an impressive display. Connor Curran came off the bench late in the quarter to inject another scoring burst and, at quarter time, Moycullen led 26-21.
The one downside in the first quarter was some foul trouble for American, Grant Olsson and also James Connaire. With Daniel Vila unavailable at the weekend, that left Moycullen relying on their Irish contingent for the full second quarter. Initially, that proved little issue as Joseph Tummon produced his best quarter of the season, but as the quarter wore on, Moycullen began to miss Olsson’s physicality as Ger Noonan and Spaniard Nil Sabata began to find looks close to the hoop and push Moycullen into further foul trouble. Still, Moycullen would have been relatively happy to get to half- time still ahead, 49-48.
In the third quarter Moycullen blew the game open. Neptune had no answer to the balanced Moycullen attack, establishing a 21 point lead. Most pleasing was the number of lay-ups created in transition and through good passing in their offensive sets.
Neptune, however, did not throw in the towel. Their big men, player coach Lehmon Colbert and Nil Sabata, put Olsson back in foul trouble as they ate into the lead. However, a big effort off the bench from Josh Marvesley, and a continued hot hand from Connor Curran (28 points ) and Patrick Lyons, steadied the ship for an impressive win.
Moycullen: Connor Curran (28 ), Grant Olsson (24 ), Joseph Tummon (16 ), Patrick Lyons (16 ), Josh Marvesley (11 ), Dylan Cunningham (10 ), James Connaire (2 ), Kyle Cunningham, James Lyons, Dara Kenna. Coach, John Cunningham, asst coach, Gerald Lyons.