Moycullen look for first Superleague win

Moycullen, finding life in basketball’s fast lane a little tough, are looking for their first Superleague victory when they travel to Dublin on Sunday to face a DCU Saints side that received a morale-boosting victory over Belfast Star at the weekend.

Moycullen, after a tough double-header weekend, suffered their fifth successive defeat since their entry in to the Superleague.

They found league favourites, Killester, too hot to handle and slipped to a disappointing 92-59 defeat, while they fell to Neptune 90 - 73 despite matching their opponents for three-quarters of the game.

The team made a valiant effort defensively against their high-scoring opponents Killester, but they could not find any offensive rhythm, failing to break 60 points. The margin was slightly exaggerated with Moycullen having one eye on the second leg of the double header weekend against Neptune but, in truth, Killester were better in every position. The only encouraging factors for Moycullen were the number of turnovers they forced and the genuine honesty of effort from all 12 players who shared the court time.

Moycullen opened the contest relatively impressively. Eoghan Maxwell connected on two superb scores close to the hoop and, despite six points from Killester’s American, Jermaine Turner, they trailed by just one, 9-8 early on. However, Killester captain Paddy Kelly took an early grip on proceedings and connected on 10 points in a row as they eased ahead. Moycullen steadied the ship and four points from John Cunningham and matched Killester with threes from James Loughnane and Paul O’Brien. However Killester took 27-18 first quarter lead.

The second quarter was the most even of the contest. The teams went basket for basket, Turner leading the way for Killester while Cian Nihill hit seven of Moycullen’s first eight points. Puff Summers came off the bench and added great pace and drive to the Moycullen cause while Dylan Cunningham connected for his first Superleague points. With two minutes remaining, the gap was still in single figures and Moycullen briefly harboured visions of an upset. However, Killester’s all round balance came to the fore and four more Turner points and a three from Peter Madsen stretched the lead to 13, 46-33 at the half.

Needing a good start to the third quarter, Moycullen showed renewed defensive intensity. However, while throwing Killester out of their rhythm, they could not capitalise at the other end, missing a number of scoring opportunities. Killester weathered the brief storm and ended with the contest over, Killester leading by 23 before winning comfortably by 92 - 59.

Coming off that disappointing defeat, Moycullen matched Neptune for three quarters of their second game of the weekend, but Ger Noonan and American Juwann James proved too much for the home team and they eventually slipped to a 90-73 defeat. It was another harsh lesson for a Moycullen team that led at half time and looked to be in a position to close out the game. However, a failure to convert a number of scoring options and an inability to contain the impressive Neptune fast break proved decisive factors in the end of a thrilling contest.

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