Moycullen basketball have little time to brood after a tough Superleague loss away in Dublin as they prepare for a match with league and cup champions UL Eagles on Saturday night in Limerick.
Eagles boast a squad littered with senior internationals and are led by dynamic point guard Scott Kinevane, while 6ft 10inch powerhouse Jason Killeen mans the middle.
Moycullen’s one possible advantage is their speed and they will need to push the tempo all game if they hope to achieve the same result they ground out when these two sides met for the first time last season.
On that occasion Moycullen upset the form books to topple Eagles in a thriller in NUI Galway and this year’s team are equally capable of producing such a result but will need to be at their very best.
Moycullen can look to the return of player/coach Salva Camps to the lineup (who missed last weekend’s game with a hip injury ) and the strong performance from Patrick Sullivan (22 points ) as positives ahead of the trip to Limerick on Saturday.
Unfortunately Sullivan’s strong performance last Saturday was not enough to earn the win against a determined DCU Saints team.
Travelling to Dublin to face last season’s league finalists was always going to be a tough task for Moycullen, but without two key playmakers Camps and Cian Nihill, it proved a bridge too far.
While Moycullen eventually fell to a comprehensive 21-point defeat, Camps can take great pride in the battle his young charges showed.
Indeed Moycullen defied all the odds to lead at half time, taking a 48-43 lead into the break, courtesy of some fantastic outside shooting on the fast break that caught Saints off guard.
Unfortunately, the relentless Saints’ defensive proved too much for the Moycullen guards, who, without the experience of Camps and Nihill (who was absent due to work commitments ) to aid in the ball handling, tired as the game proceeded.
The turning point came in the third quarter when Moycullen managed only nine points. From there to the end Saints’ experience and greater depth took over, allowing them to run out deserving winners.
Moycullen: Patrick Sullivan (22 ), Dylan Costello (11 ), Stephen O’Brien (6 ), Paul O’Brien (5 ), Stephen Tummon (4 ), Patrick Lyons (4 ), James O’Brien (4 ), Ian Burke (2 ), Nollaig Cunningham (2 ), Sean Candon.