Lapse in concentration proves costly for Moycullen

After an opening day defeat, Moycullen are back on the road again this weekend when they face DCU Saints on Sunday in DCU Sports Centre (4pm ).

Simple mistakes at crucial times proved costly for Moycullen last weekend when they suffered a frustating 83 - 60 loss away to UCC Demons in their opening Superleague basketball campaign.

Despite trailing by just seven at half time, Moycullen gifted the Cork side a brace of early scores in the second half, and the momentum gained prior to the break was quickly lost by sloppy play which allowed Demons to establish a comfortable 16-point lead.

A similar malaise early on in the first quarter meant Moycullen were always playing catch up to their favoured opponents. However, baskets from Stephen Tummon, Dylan Cunningham and American import Luke Enos, kept the Galway players within a couple of baskets for the majority of the half.

UCC Demons' professional American, Shawn Atupem, was clearly eager to begin his career in Cork with a bang and got his name on the score sheet early and often - finishing with 28 points. His physical presence close to the ring, coupled with the clinical offensive execution of Kyle Hosford and Ciaran O'Sullivan playing in their home opener, ensured they capitalised on any mistakes by the visitors.

Far from dominating the game, however, Demons' guards were often unable to deal with the pressure defence imposed on them by Michael Dowd and James Loughnane. Eoghan Maxwell and Cian Nihill added further to Moycullen's up-tempo approach when they entered the fray, playing physical defence and pushing the fast break whenever possible.

Most impressive off the bench was Paul O'Brien who almost instantly connected on three three-pointers in a row, and he finished as Moycullen's top scorer with am impressive 16 points.

The second quarter showed how good this young Moycullen side could be. They were much the better team for large stretches, being disruptive on defence and creating good scoring chances on most trips up the court.

However Blue Demons had the better offensive flow and, although Moycullen probably outworked their opponents, the threat always remained that any slip in Moycullen's intensity would be cruelly punished.

The break in concentration in the third quarter, after a first half where the gap on the score board had ranged between two and eight points at all times, severely dented Moycullen's chances.

Although they battled gamely to the end, never allowing Demons to get so comfortable that they could go to their bench, they were not to get within single digits again.

Moycullen coach Gerald Lyons, while disappointed his side slipped to a 23-point loss, took encouragement.

"I can take a lot of positives from the loss," he said. "If we had kept our concentration, especially on the defensive end, I think the result could have been different."

Moycullen: Paul O'Brien (16 ), Dylan Cunningham (14 ), Luke Enos (12 ), Cian Nihill (6 ), Stephen Tummon (6 ), Michael Dowd (3 ), James Loughnane (3 ), Eoghan Maxwell (2 ), Nollaig Cunningham, Ian Burke, Kevin Folan.

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