Moycullen’s next Superleague fixture against Cork’s Blue Demons promises to be an enticing encounter when the two meet at NUIG on Saturday (8pm ).
Both sides have enjoyed mixed starts to the season so far with Blue Demons enjoying a great opening weekend win against Ulster Elks followed by a disappointing loss to UCD Marian on Saturday.
One of the traditional powerhouses of basketball in Ireland, Blue Demons are currently a team in transition with a number of young players breaking through to the senior ranks. Regardless of new personnel, however, Blue Demons are sure to play their traditional fast-breaking, high-tempo style of game.
This should suit Moycullen, who hope to welcome back Eoghan Maxwell from his shoulder injury suffered against Killester. The outcome will probably depend on who handles the changes in momentum the better as the two young sides will attempt to push the ball up the court and play free-flowing basketball.
It promises to be a competitive game with the tip-off at the later time of 8pm in NUIG due to Foireann na Gaillimhe, Galway women’s national league team, tipping off their first game before the men.
Last weekend Stephen Tummon inspired a late rally against Neptune, but it was not enough as the hosts ran out 85-79 winners.
It looked like it was going to be a blowout late in the third quarter as Neptune deservedly stretched their lead to 20 points, capitalising on a string of Moycullen defensive errors. However Moycullen dug deep away from home and looked like achieving a miraculous comeback as they cut the deficit to five with three minutes remaining.
Unfortunately, while youthful optimism may have been the driving force in keeping their spirits alive, it was their inexperience that probably cost them taking full advantage. Some poor decisions on offence prevented them taking that momentum over the finishing line.
Neptune composed themselves and capitalised brilliantly with Gary Walsh in particular leading the way for the Leesiders.
However, head coach Enda Byrt can certainly take a number of positives. American signing Mason Ambler led the team with 17 rebounds, while his inside playing partner Stephen Tummon proved un-guardable, registering 24 points and collecting seven rebounds.
An early string of three pointers from Cían Nihill, along with a combined 16 points from Dylan Cunningham, Michael Dowd and Mindaugas Kurchenkovas, mean that this weekend’s opponents Blue Demons will have their hands full.
Moycullen: Stephen Tummon (24 ), Cían Nihill (16 ), Mason Ambler (14 ), Dylan Cunningham (8 ), Michael Dowd (4 ), Mindaugas Kurchenkovas (4 ), Nollaig Cunningham (3 ), Kevin McDonald (1 ), James O’Brien, James Brophy, Gerald Lyons.