Moycullen basketball coach Enda Byrt hopes to strengthen his team for tomorrow evening’s second Superleague fixture against Neptune in Cork.
Having lost their opener to triple champions Killester last weekend, Byrt says Neptune will present another difficult challenge.
“Without a doubt Neptune are a changed team from 12 months ago and we will have to feel our way a bit with them. Their new American player looks like a strong formidable inside player and along with their other additions, they will present a very different challenge from last year.”
“We have a few players coming back that weren’t available in week one and several more that will hopefully be 100 per cent after having got the first game under their belt,” he says.
Neptune, who were semi-finalists last year, will start as favourites. They have recruited several new players, including senior Irish internationals Phil Taylor and Ian O’Boyle to add to what was already an impressive squad.
However Byrt hopes last weekend’s tough opener will have prepared his team for tonight’s fixture.
“We went into last weekend’s game with a number of injuries and flu so we weren’t at our best, but having said that, Killester truly put on a clinic in shooting and showed why they are the defending treble champions
“I still think it was great for us to play the best team first and there were a number of positives to take from the game that we will be building on from here on.”
Moycullen went into the game full of confidence after an impressive pre-season but, after a battling first quarter, Killester took control of the game. Moycullen’s Cian Nihill and American Mason Ambler kept pacing early on, but Killester upped a gear and pushed into a 21- 12 lead.
Moycullen showed great heart as they cut the deficit to five at the end of the quarter, but the second quarter was a different story. Killester’s pressure defence took Moycullen out of their rhythm and their American Jermaine Turner proved unstoppable. He chipped in with 11 for the quarter, making it 25 points for the half, while John Behan hit eight points in a row as the lead stretched to 22 at the half, 53-31.
Moycullen continued to battle and despite the growing margin, they never dropped their heads against the champions who were comfortable 107 to 70 winners.
Moycullen: Cian Nihill (21 ), Mason Ambler (16 ), Dylan Cunningham (11 ), Mike Dowd (6 ), Stephen Tummon (4 ), Nollaig Cunningham (4 ), Mindaugus Kurcenkovas (4 ), James Loughnane (2 ), Kevin McDonald (2 ), John Cunningham, Eoghan Maxwell, Paul O’Brien. Coach: Enda Byrt.