With the Kingfisher gym in NUI Galway tied up for exams, Moycullen change venue this weekend to host their home game against high-flying UCC Demons in Calasanctius College, Oranmore, on Saturday ( 7.30pm ).
The tight confines of the secondary school court are expected to provide a heated atmosphere for what is an intriguing match up between two teams of contrasting styles.
The two sides head into the match on the back of different results in last weekend’s Superleague Cup quarter-finals. Demons enjoyed success with a win over Superleague leaders DCU Saints in Cork, while Moycullen lost to Killester by 14 points in Dublin.
Hopes of advancing to the semi-final were very much alive at half time for Moycullen, despite a sluggish start. Trailing by 10 points in the first quarter, Moycullen played with great energy to bring the scores level at 42 points apiece going into the break.
Salva Camps and Luke Enos were in sparkling form offensively, while Michael Dowd, Dylan Cunningham and James Loughnane kept Killester’s high scoring guards under control. Cian Nihill battled well with Killester’s big men in the absence of both Paul O’Brien and Stephen Tummon due to injury.
However Moycullen were dangerously over-reliant on scores from both Enos and Camps and did not pose enough questions of Killester’s defence. A recurring theme this season has been Moycullen’s failure to match good defensive effort with decent offensive movement, and once again on Saturday Moycullen failed to reward a great effort with the scores that it merited.
In a disappointing third quarter for the visitors from Galway, Killester jumped out to an 11 point lead, primarily due to Moycullen’s failure to move sharply off the ball or to string successive quick passes together.
It was not for want of effort however and despite Enos going down with a worrying injury that will have to be monitored this week, Moycullen continued to battle right up to the final minute.
In the end it was not enough and with a bit of daylight between the teams, Killester began to play with increased confidence, eventually extending their lead to 14 by the game’s end, finishing on a score line of 83 to 69.
“I can’t fault the heart of the lads,” said head coach Gerald Lyons. “They played with good energy, but we just could not get the type of movement that we needed on offence. It was very forced at times.
“We have some issues now with all three of our big players in Paul, Stephen and Luke carrying injuries. Paul is out with a broken nose until after Christmas, but we are hopeful Stephen and Luke will be back soon.”
Moycullen: Salva Camps (22 ), Luke Enos (18 ), Cian Nihill (10 ), Michael Dowd (9 ), Dylan Cunningham (8 ), Eoghan Maxwell (2 ), James Loughnane, Patrick Lyons, Nollaig Cunningham, Ian Burke.