Young Galway basketballers selected for Ireland

Three Galway basketball players have been selected on the Ireland U20 men's team to train ahead of the European Championships.

Eoin Rockall and Stephen Commins of Maree and Moycullen's Kyle Cunningham were chosen from a group of more than 80 players who attended the two open trials in recent weeks.

Cunningham lined out for the SSE Airtricity Moycullen's Superleague team on Saturday for their fixture against Pyrobel Killester in the NUIG Kingfisher Gym, but the visitors, with former Moycullen star Cian Nihill in their ranks, edged the contest in the last quarter to win by 84-90.

Moycullen started with a huge defensive intensity with Patrick Lyons and James Loughnanne giving the Killester guards no room to operate. Paul Freeman had a strong showing for Moycullen, battling Killester’s American player Jermaine Turner in the low-post, but with Turner and Ciaran Roe on song, the Dubliners began to edge ahead.

Joseph Tummon made an impact on his introduction for the home side, adding seven late points to bring his side back to within two. He also got Moycullen off the mark in the second, nailing a deep three-pointer to give Moycullen their first lead of the game. Thereafter, both teams exchanged baskets, with Loughnanne, Dylan Cunningham and Tummon connecting for Moycullen.

Killester kept the pressure on, however, and through a number of efficient offenses, they managed to build a 13-point lead. But after a late timeout, Moycullen exploded offensively in the dying minutes of the second with a 9-0 run, reducing Killester’s lead to four.

The offensive run carried over into the third with Lawrence-Ricks providing the hot hand for Moycullen, and after his early seven points, Moycullen were on top once more.

They held a narrow lead for most of the third quarter with Freeman, Loughnanne and Lyons putting in a stellar defensive performances to keep Killester at bay, but towards the end of the third period, and with the help of a couple of costly Moycullen turnovers, Killester edged back ahead. Nihill contributed five points for the Dublin men, but James Loughnanne hit a pair of late three-pointers to ensure Killester did not pull too far ahead.

Despite his four fouls, Paul Freeman did it all for Moycullen in the final period. Behind his seven points and two steals, Moycullen stayed in contention. Unfortunately, the Connemara men gave Killester two easy scores off late inbound plays, and ate Moycullen foul-trouble provided Killester with a a handful of crucial freethrow attempts, allowing them to extend their lead.

Lawrence-Ricks and Dylan Cunningham did their best to keep Moycullen in touch, but Killester were able to hold out for the final whistle.

SSE Airticity Moycullen: Paul Freeman, Patrick Lyons, Philip Lawrence-Ricks, Joseph Tummon, James Loughnanne, Rory Gilson, Kyle Cunningham, Sean Candon, John Hackett, Ladmy Sila. Coach: John Cunningham Asst. Coach: Gerald Lyons.

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