Moycullen face the recently crowned National Cup champions UL Eagles when they travel to Limerick this Saturday in Superleague action.
UL will be on a high after capturing their first cup title in 10 years and they will be looking to enjoy a winning homecoming in front of their own supporters.
However the Shannonsiders will not be over-confident. In what was a major upset at the time, Moycullen toppled Eagles by a single point earlier in the season, although the Limerick outfit exacted revenge with a dramatic one-point win in the last second on their return visit west.
Saturday’s fixture is expected to be another close affair which is nothing new for the Moycullen outfit. Last Saturday the Galway side put up another gritty performance away from home that almost earned them their first win in Cork. Unfortunately they fell by 62 - 53 to the much-vaunted Neptune team that featured 6’ 9” Rob Thompson from the United States.
Moycullen jumped into an early lead, up 14-3 after five minutes with Paul O'Brien and Cian Nihill connecting on a string of outside jump shots to propel Moycullen.
Neptune's greater size did begin to tell as offensive rebounds, coupled with strong inside play, saw the Cork team play their way back into contention in the second quarter.
Despite strong defensive performances from Michael Dowd and Eoghan Maxwell, Moycullen trailing at the half by 39 - 31.
However Moycullen regained the lead with good fast break play from Dylan Cunningham and some solid minutes off the bench from veteran Nollaig Cunningham and 16-years-old rookie Patrick Lyons.
As the game entered its closing stages, the two teams remained inseparable on the scoreboard, but unfortunately for the westerners, their half court offence proved ineffective, with regular high scorers Enos, Salva Camps, James Loughnane and Stephen Tummon all unavailable.
In the end, Neptune grabbed a couple of vital offensive rebounds in the last two minutes of the game that led to easy baskets and their eventual victory.
"I think we can be really proud of how we played,” said Moycullen guard Eoghan Maxwell. “ With so many injuries it would have been easy to just throw in the towel away from home against a quality team like Neptune, but we really came out battling.”
Moycullen will need to continue with that attitude when they face the Eagles this weekend.
Moycullen: Cían Nihill (21 ), Paul O'Brien (20 ) , Michael Dowd (4 ), Eoghan Maxwell (2 ), Dylan Cunningham (2 ), Nollaig Cunningham (2 ), Patrick Lyons, Ian Burke, Kevin Folan.