An Cearnog Nua, Moycullen, after a solid start to another National League season last weekend, are back on the road again.
Having overcome a battling Limerick Lions by 12 points (79-67 ) in the UL Arena on Saturday, they return to the city for the first of a number of double header weekends. On Saturday they take on “A Taste of Europe” before hosting their first home game of the season on Sunday at 3pm in the new NUIG Sports Centre. And once again they will face another newcomer to division one basketball, Lisburn 94s.
Interestingly these first three games are against the three new teams to the division, and as a result it will be hard to gauge the team’s level until the home encounter with old rivals, Team Garveys, Castleisland on October 18.
Last weekend Moycullen were a little rusty early on, conceding a series of turnovers that meant they were never totally comfortable against a Limerick side that never gave up. However they established control in the second quarter and ground out the required win.
A pair of scores from Nihill and Griffin settled the team, but threes from Trevor Moore and Matt Hall gave the home side an early lead. As Moycullen struggled to establish a flow, Limerick capitalised with Matt Hall pulling the strings at the guard position. A three from Nihill, a couple of baskets from Cunningham and Griffin, and four free throws from Maxwell and Hynes completed Moycullen’s scoring for the quarter and they edged one point ahead.
The second quarter saw an improved showing, and the key was the excellent form of Eoghan Maxwell. Impressive throughout pre-season, he set the tone by getting his hands to a number of passes, generating steals, and some easy scores. Cian Nihill chipped in with a pair of threes and they edged away from Limerick.
However turnovers continued to cost them and Matt Hall proved a real thorn in the side as he scored 13 points in the quarter to cut the deficit to 40-32.
The third quarter reflected a similar pattern to the second as Moycullen remained in control at the end of the third, leading 61 – 50.
When Cian Nihill was fouled out with five minutes left, Limerick were within 10 and still in with a chance. However old hands Nollaig Cunningham and Glenn Hynes steadied the ship to ensure they opened their 22-game season with a victory.
An Cearnog Nua, Moycullen: Cian Nihill (28 ), Garnett Griffin (19 ), Eoghan Maxwell (12 ), Nollaig Cunningham (5 ), Glenn Hynes (5 ), Dylan Cunningham (5 ), Paul O’Brien (5 ), David Lee. James Brophy, James O’Brien, Neil Cantwell, Gerald Lyons. Coach: Zbigniew Mardon.
Maree women start first National League campaign
A young Maree side, having entered the Basketball Ireland division one women’s National League, took to the floor for the first time on Saturday in the Calasanctius Gym, Oranmore.
The opposition for this opening match was Oblate Dynamos, and this experienced and wily side from Drimnagh Dublin prevailed by 69-49.
Maree: Carol McCarthy (15 ), Meabh Malone, Colleen McInerney (2 ), Sinéad Kennedy (1 ), Lisa O’Farrell, Tena Thornton (3 ), Christina Brennan, Nicola O’Connell (2 ), Caitríona Foley (9 ), Niamh O’Hagan (4 ), Hannah Coen (4 ), Maeve Conroy, Aoife O’Malley (9 ).