Big weekend for Galway basketball

Moycullen to contest two national semi-finals

SSE Airtricity Moycullen is heading into an important weekend on the basketball calendar with both Superleague and the men's u20 in cup action.

The Superleague team contests is first National Cup semi-final on Saturday when they travel to Cork for their first fixture of the New Year.

They have tough opponents in Superleague title contenders Swords Thunder when the two meet at Neptune Stadium at 4pm.

Also in cup action is the club's U20 team and they are up against KUBS on Sunday at 12 noon, also in Cork, while fellow Galway club Maree face home side Neptune at 10am, with hopes of setting up an all Galway final.

Maree's women will contest the Hula Hoops intermediate cup semi-final tomorrow (Friday ) at 6pm when they meet St Mary's Castleisland in the Parochial Hall, and in the U19B girls All Ireland Cup, Gort CS will face IS Killorglin at the UL Arena on Monday at 1030am.

Moycullen's Superleague side will enter their first national cup semi-final in good spirits having finished 2016 with an 87-81 win over Dublin outfit KUBS Basketball Club in the NUI Galway Kingfisher gym.

The home side started slowly as KUBS jumped to an eight-point lead but eventually, Moycullen put together a run, with baskets from Paul Freeman, James Loughnanne and Phil Lawrence-Ricks.

Joe Tummon, in Lawrence-Ricks who picked up a couple of early fouls, made an immediate impact, and with Dylan Cunningham also aggressive offensively, Moycullen surged head by ahead by 29- 23 at the end of the first.

KUBS’ big-men, Kevin Foley and Brian Edwards, kept the pressure on the hosts, edging themselves back into a four-point lead, but when Patrick Lyons exploded for Moycullen, going on a scoring run, Moycullen were back on top.

Although both sides struggled to convert opportunities in the third, Lyons continued to provide the offensive spark for Moycullen, and with a late Dylan Cunningham three-pointer and a buzzer-beating lay-up from Paul Freeman, Moycullen jumped ahead 65- 57 at the end of the third.

In the final quarter, Moycullen played some assured basketball, clamping down defensively. A pair of three-pointers from Cunningham and Loughnanne, and drives from Kyle Cunningham and John Hackett, helped Moycullen surge further ahead, while Rory Gilson made a welcome return after 18 months out through injury.

Though KUBS picked up a handful of late baskets, it was not enough to deny Moycullen their fifth Superleague win.

SSE AIRTRICITY MOYCULLEN: Patrick Lyons 20, Dylan Cunningham 19, Joseph Tummon 16, Paul Freeman 6, Phil Lawrence-Ricks 10, Kyle Cunningham 5, James Loughnanne 5, John Hackett 4, Rory Gilson, Sean Candon, Ladmy Sila, Connor Curran.

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