Moycullen's hopes of final flourish dampened

Moycullen’s final Super League game of the 2017/2018 season ended in a disappointing defeat at home to league-leaders UCD Marian by 73-56.

Moycullen were hurt once again by a slow start as the Dubliners jumped six points ahead, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from guard Dan James.

Moycullen eventually registered some scores through James Loughnane and Brandon McGuire, but UCD seemed to be able to find the free man on every offensive possession. At the end of the first, the visitors had opened up a 12-point lead.

The second quarter was much the same with UCD’s defence forcing Moycullen to rely heavily on the three-point shot, to little avail. On the opposite end, UCD showcased some exquisite low-post passing, and continued to extend their lead for a 43- 25.

Moycullen's second half was better as they edged themselves back into the game. James Loughnane was superb for Moycullen in the third, scoring 11 points, and at one stage Moycullen had cut UCD’s lead to 12, before a late three-pointer from UCD stole some momentum.

Moycullen performed best in the final quarter in which coach John Cunningham introduced two younger players, Conor Curran and Paul Kelly, who injected some pace into the proceedings. UCD however, never looked likely to relinquish control of the game.

Although Moycullen failed in their seasonal ambition to make the play-offs, Cunningham was satisfied with the season.

“The league is getting more competitive every year," he says. "We have a very young team, and I think we were probably a little bit short on experience to kill off teams in those tighter games.

“We’re disappointed we’ve missed out on the playoffs, but this season has been another step forward for us, and we’ll come back even stronger next season."

Moycullen: James Loughnane (15 ), Brandon McGuire (15 ), Patrick Lyons (8 ), Conor Curran (5 ), Dylan Cunningham (4 ), Kyle Cunningham (4 ), Paul Freeman (4 ), Paul Kelly (2 ), Joseph Tummon (2 ), Cian Nihill, James Lyons. Coach: John Cunningham; asst coach, Gerald Lyons.

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