As has been the case on more than one occasion this season, Moycullen lost out by a frustratingly narrow margin to Killorglin by 87-84 in the weekend's Super League basketball action.
Having suffered a similarly close defeat in cup action against Templeogue, Moycullen had travelled to Killorglin hoping to get their league campaign back on track. Instead manager John Cunningham and his squad left disappointed once again as they prop up the bottom of the league table alongside Neptune.
“We’re absolutely gutted not to have got over this line tonight,” Cunningham said after the game. “I thought we put in a really solid effort in the second half, but we dug ourselves too big a hole early on and that’s what killed us."
Moycullen were very slow to come into the game in the first period, and some defensive mistakes allowed Killorglin to pick up a handful of easy baskets. Before Moycullen had really settled in any form, Killorglin had raced out to a double-digit lead.
From there Killogrlin continued to keep the pressure on. Though Grant Olsson and Paul Kelly picked up some points for Moycullen, the Connemara men found themselves trailing by 29 points to 18 when time expired in the first. It was an opening quarter to forget.
In the second quarter Moycullen tried to hoist themselves back into the game. Olsson and James Conaire raised their game defensively, stifling the play of Killorglins inside-men, and a much better second period saw Moycullen cut the lead down to single figures.
In the third quarter, Moycullen continued to chip away at the Killorglin lead until, with only a couple of minutes left on the clock, Moycullen went on a timely 12 - 3 scoring run to put themselves within touching distance of the Kerrymen.
The early stages of the fourth continued in this vain as Paddy Lyons and Joe Tummon each found baskets to keep Moycullen hot on the heels of the home team.
With less than a minute to play, and down by two points, Lyons found Tummon for a corner three-point shot which he was able to knock down, giving his side a late lead.
However, Killorglin found a quick response in the form of a layup from their American player Allan Thomas, tying the game, and on the next possession, after forcing a Moycullen turnover, Thomas then drilled a deep three-pointer to put his side up by three.
With almost no time left to work with, Moycullen head coach John Cunningham called a time-out and drew up a play to get Joseph Tummon another three-point try. This time however, the shot rimmed out, and Killorglin came away victorious.
WIth no game this weekend, Moycullen’s focus will now shift to local rivals Maree, who they take on in Calasanctius on Dec 14.
Moycullen: Grant Olsson (33 ), James Conaire (13 ), Paul Kelly (12 ), Joseph Tummon (10 ), Patrick Lyons (10 ), Dylan Cunningham (3 ), Daniel Vila (2 ), Kyle Cunningham (1 ), James Lyons, Coach, John Cunningham.
It took overtime to separate both Maree and Abbey Seals Dublin Lions in their clash in Calansanctius, but it was the home side that prevailed 87-84.
Both clubs had finished on 76 points at full time after a ding-dong battle.
Lions led the game for three of the four quarters, with Ramonn Nelson and Conroy Baltimore two of the stand outs, but Maree were always right there with them throughout and dug deep in the fourth quarter to level the game, with Darin Johnson, Kenneth Hansberry and Eoin Rockall all getting some key scores. The overtime period was just as thrilling, with Rockall and Hansberry key to Maree’s win in the end, 87-84.
Maree remain second in the Women’s Super League table, thanks to a 58-72 point win over IT Carlow Basketball on the road.
A tight opening half saw nothing much between the teams in the early exchanges, with Maree leading 14-19 at the end of the first.
A big push from both sides in the second quarter saw some quality scores from Carlow’s Alyssa Velles and Kaitlyn Slagus, but at the other end Claire Rockall led the charge for the visitors to lead 31-40 at the half.
The sides remained in touching distance throughout the second half, with Slagus and Velles dominating for the hosts, but Rockall, Fiona Scally and Carly McClendon put up some good scores to keep Maree in front, and they ran out 58-72 point winners in the end.