Moycullen Basketball will enjoy a run of four home games in the Super League, beginning with the visit of Eanna BC to NUI Galway’s Kingfisher on Saturday (7pm ).
This will be a key game for the home side, tied with the Dubliners on the league table with two wins apiece after week four of the season.
“We play four weekends in a row at home, starting this coming Saturday, and we really want to put a string of wins together,” says Moycullen guard Dylan Cunningham,.
Moycullen return home having come so close to pulling off one of the biggest upsets this season until Tralee Warriors snatched a late victory.
“I think we saw what a big home crowd can do for a team in Tralee," says Cunningham. "We’ve always relied on that too at home, and it would be great if supporters get in early to help us build a game-day atmosphere.”
Moycullen produced an inspired second-half display which ultimately ended in disappointment when Tralee Warriors, with only seconds left on the clock, produced a three-pointer to grab victory in Kerry on Saturday night.
Moycullen, who trailed at the half by 12 points, silenced the 1,000 plus fans in the Tralee Sports Centre for the remainder of this Super League basketball contest. Gritty defence and some superb scores, with American star Brandon McGuire playing particularly well, kept the game in the balance to the end.
The Galwegians turned a 12-point deficit into a six-point lead with just three minutes remaining in the contest against one of the favourites for the title this year.
However some missed rebounds and scrappy offence gave Tralee some crucial late scores which had their home-faithful back in boisterous voice for the final minutes as the sides were level with two minutes to play.
A pair of free-throws from Cian Nihill proved to be Moycullen’s last scores of the game before a superb drive and lay-up from Tralee American Trae Pemberton was followed up by an unlucky Moycullen turnover on a step out of bounds.
It set the scene for Tralee to go for the game winner, and when Pemberton drove to the basket and collapsed the Moycullen defence, he found his captain Darren O’Sullivan alone on the three-point line. O’Sullivan coolly knocked down the shot, causing the Tralee faithful to erupt, and allowing the Kerry-side to escape with the most dramatic of wins.
“It was a killer blow to take,” said Cunningham, whose defensive efforts on Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy went a long way to giving Moycullen a chance at what would have been a major upset.
“We had all the momentum through the second half and really had them on the ropes, but the way the crowd got behind the team seemed to give Tralee that little boost to finish, and when they needed scores, they found a way to get them.”
Tralee have lost only one game at home since they rejoined the Super League last season and few have come as close as Moycullen.
Moycullen: Brandon McGuire (21 ), Patrick Lyons (13 ), Paul Freeman (10 ), Dylan Cunningham (10 ), Cian Nihill (8 ), James Loughnane (6 ), Joseph Tummon (2 ), James Lyons, Paul Kelly, Connor Curran, Kyle Cunningham.