After finishing on the wrong side of a couple of tight games over the last couple of weeks, Moycullen’s Superleague side got back to winning ways on Saturday with an 89-83 win over league newcomers Dublin Lions.
Moycullen had to dig deep for this victory, however. A slow start meant they were forced to chase for most of the game, until a three-point barrage in the final quarter propelled them into the lead.
Moycullen forward Dylan Cunningham hopes this win could give his side something on which to build for the remainder of a demanding league season.
“It feels good to get a win after coming so close the last couple of weeks,” he says. “There aren’t really any easy games in this league anymore, the standard has got so high. But with any luck, this win might give us some momentum going into the tough games we have ahead over the next few weeks.”
In the first half, Lions' size inside seemed to cause Moycullen’s offence significant problems. Slowly, but surely though, Lions’ big men got into some foul trouble, and as a result were less aggressive defensively, a development Moycullen began to exploit as the game went on.
Having trailed by 10 in the opening period, Moycullen cut the lead down to two by half-time. In the third quarter, the game became a back and forth affair, with neither side able to nudge themselves ahead by too much.
Joseph Tummon and Grant Olsson netted some long-distance scores for Moycullen, while Paul Kelly and Conor Curran used their quickness to push the ball for some fastbreak scores.
Lions were able to find the answers though, and with the teams all tied up in the final moments of the quarter, Lions guard Romonn Nelson ran in back-to-back finesse layups, giving the visitors a 66 - 70 lead at the end of the period.
In the fourth, Moycullen absolutely exploded out of the blocks.
Conor Curran, Daniel Vila and Kyle Cunningham each netted three-pointers as Moycullen went on a timely 16-0 scoring run to open the period, leaving Lions totally shell-shocked.
A handful of missed free-throws from Moycullen did give Lions a couple of chances to close the gap late on, but Moycullen’s defence held strong.
Next week, Moycullen make the long trip down to Kerry, to take on last year’s league winners, Tralee Warriors.
Moycullen: Paul Kelly (17 ), Grant Olsson (16 ), Daniel Villa (15 ), Conor Curran (14 ), Joseph Tummon (14 ), Kyle Cunningham (9 ), Dylan Cunningham (4 ), James Conaire, James Lyons, Dara Kenna. Coach: John Cunningam Asst coach: Gerald Lyons.
It was always going to be difficult for Maree when they came up against unbeaten DBS Éanna, who recorded an 81-75 win to be the last ones standing after another action-packed weekend of men’s Super League action.
A big fourth quarter performance from Éanna was ultimately what got them over the line as the Dubliners were trailing Maree for the first three quarters, though not much separated the teams throughout.
A superb 37-point game from Maree’s Darin Johnson caused multiple problems for the Éanna defence, and despite good work from Stefan Zecevic and Marko Tomic, Maree still held a three-point lead going into the last.
A big push from the hosts in the fourth though saw them finally get out in front with some breathing space, and with Zecevic leading the scoring, along with good work from Daniel Heaney, Éanna kept their winning run intact on a final score line of 81-75.