Moycullen bounce back with big defensive effort

Maree's Darin Johnson is challenged by Neptune's Peter Hoffman in action from the Basketball Ireland Men Super League game at Calasanctius College on Saturday evening.  Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Maree's Darin Johnson is challenged by Neptune's Peter Hoffman in action from the Basketball Ireland Men Super League game at Calasanctius College on Saturday evening. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Moycullen Basketball, boosted by a superb late win last weekend, return to the NUI Galway Kingfisher gym where they host DCU Saints in Saturday's Super League (7.30pm ).

John Cunningham's side will be looking to grab some momentum having bounced back from their opening day defeat to Maree to grab their first Super League win over powerhouse Pyrobel Killester by 59-57.

After falling to local rivals Maree last week, Moycullen Basketball’s Super League side bounced back in impressive style to grabbing their first Superleague win over powerhouse Pyrobel Killester by 59-57.

Moycullen produced on a superb defensive display, holding the Dubliners to 57 points - the winners of last year’s National Cup, had averaged more than 80 points last season.

Moycullen coach John Cunningham said it was an excellent result for a super defensive effort.

“I think our defence went up a notch again from last week. It creaked a bit at times but, but to hold any Super League team to 57 is an excellent outcome and a sign we got a lot right,” he said.

Moycullen started somewhat slowly, and their offensive play in the first half was far from perfect as they had to rely heavily on their new American player Grant Olsson for some scores.

At half-time, Moycullen found themselves trailing by six, and in the third quarter, Killester, helped by their American player, began to edge further ahead. As Moycullen struggled to get scoring opportunities, they found themselves 11 points adrift heading at the end of the third quarter.

However, the fourth quarter produced a different story as Moycullen’s defensive pressure completely suffocated Killester’s guards, and the Dubliners' offence evaporated.

At the same time, the Galway men’s offensive play finally began to click. Captain Paddy Lyons and Olsson showed great leadership on the floor, taking and making some big shots for their side.

Killester looked shell-shocked, but Moycullen did not let up. In total, Moycullen registered 22 points in the fourth, but more impressively, they held their opponents to just nine.

When Paddy Lyons sank a pair of late free throws, the comeback was complete, and Moycullen came away with the win.

“The whole squad showed great belief out there today and they really tried to deliver what we’re looking for at both ends of the floor,” said Coach Cunningham. “I think we’re on the right road for a good season.”

Moycullen: Grant Olsson2 (21 ), Paddy Lyons (14 ) Connor Curran (9 ), Joseph Tummon (8 ), Daniel Vila (5 ), Kyle Cunningham (2 ), Dylan Cunningham, Paul Kelly. Coach, John Cunningham; Asst coach, Gerald Lyons.

Memorable debut for Maree women

Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League got underway with newly-promoted Maree winning their first Super League game.

Joe Shields’ charges ran out 70-67 point winners over Ambassador UCC Glanmire in a hotly-contested battle.

Glanmire had the better of the opening exchanges, thanks to sharp shooting from Aine McKenna, who finished the game with 25 points. However, after a quick regroup Maree hit their stride, with Claire Rockall, who top scored for her side with 20 points, to the fore, as well as American Carly McLendon and Fiona Scally. They were ahead 38-35 at the half, and drove on to a 57-49 lead going into the last. Although Glanmire pushed back hard, Maree held on for a memorable victory.

However, the men's Super League side, having opened the season with a victory over Moycullen, lost to Coughlan C&S Neptune by 0-89 in Calasanctius gym. Spaniard Nil Sabata Vila top scored for the Cork outfit with 25 points, with player/coach Lehmon Colbert chipping in with 17.

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