Moycullen Basketball Club has secured its place in the final of the u-18 National Cup for the first time in its history.
The Galway club overcome Neptune with an excellent team display on Saturday in Cork by 72-45 and will now face Belfast Star at the National Basketball Arena in two weeks.
Neptune enjoyed the better start, taking full advantage of playing on their home court as they raced into an early 8-0 lead. However Moycullen recovered well. Co-captain Patrick Lyons scored twice from fast breaks, while Sean Candon made a number of three-point shots to settle the team and level the score 12-12 at the break.
The second quarter was another tight affair as Moycullen’s Dylan Costelloe used his size and strength to get to the basket on a number of occasions. Stephen O’Brien pitched in with four points to end the quarter, while two of Moycullen’s u-16 stars, Kyle Cunningham and Joseph Tummon, did a good job on the defensive end as Moycullen led at the interval.
The visitors really stepped it up in the third quarter and took command. Increasing their defensive intensity, Moycullen were able to capitalise with O’Brien picking up another couple of baskets from Mark Rohan and Patrick Lyons steals.
Moycullen held Neptune scoreless for nearly 10 minutes in the second half as Darragh Mulkerrins and Sean Candon did an excellent job limiting Neptune’s 6’ 7” Superleague star Mattie Rudak who ended up fouling out early in the fourth quarter.
Moycullen continued to increase their intensity in the fourth quarter as Costelloe and Rohan got some big offensive rebounds and lay ups to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Darren O’Donnell came into the game in the fourth quarter and did a good job at the defensive end as Lyons and Costelloe continued to attack the Neptune defence, adding easy points from the free throw line as Moycullen ran out winners by 72-45.