Moycullen edged out in final quarter by league leaders

SSE Airtricity Moycullen ran league-leaders C & S UCC Demons close in their New Year's fixture at NUIG Kingfisher, but lost in the final quarter by 77-68.

Moycullen, still missing players through injury, opened the game firing, with Kyle Cunningham, Sean Candon and Dylan Cunningham finding their range from the three-point line, while Paul Freeman and Joseph Tummon converted inside, helping them into an eight-point lead. However Demons found their touch through American Lehmon Colbert who connected on a number of occasions to close the gap to 23-20 at the break.

Moycullen’s solid play continued with Joseph Tummon scoring on three consecutive possessions, while defensively they frustrated the Cork men’s offence. However Colbert again kept his side in touch, and by half time they had taken a 34-32 lead.

Both teams traded scores early in the third - Paul Freeman and Ronan O’Sullivan on target for the home side, and Colbert and Carlton Cuff answering for their squad. The visitors opened up a narrow lead, before James Loughnane erupted for Moycullen, scoring 11 consecutive points and 15 in total in the third quarter. UCC threw a number of different players at Loughnane defensively, but he proved to be too much for the Cork side to handle. Behind Loughnane, Moycullen forced themselves back into a five-point lead.

In an enthralling fourth quarter, the lead changed several times. Loughnanne carried his offensive intensity into the final quarter, connecting on a pair of drives for his side early on, but UCC's Kyle Hosford and Ciaran O’ Sullivan struck from deep.

Colbert again proved to be their target man, his physicality causing trouble for Moycullen, and the result was foul trouble for Freeman and Kyle Cunningham late in the fourth. Colbert and O’Sullivan each hit a handful of free throws to extend their narrow lead, and although Loughnanne and Dylan Cunningham did their best to drag Moycullen back into the game, the Cork men eventually claimed a seven-point win.

SSE Airtricity Moycullen’s next game will see them entertain Eanna on Saturday January 16 at 7pm in the NUIG Kingfisher.

Moycullen: James Loughnane 19, Joseph Tummon 8, Dylan Cunningham 15, Kyle Cunningham 10, Paul Freeman 8, Ronan O’ Sullivan 6, Sean Candon 3, Paul O’ Brien, Stephen O’ Brien, Patrick Lyons. Coach, Nollaig Cunnigham, assistant coach: Gerald Lyons.

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