Moycullen basketball fans head to Dublin this weekend in the hopes of claiming two national titles.
SSE Airtricity Moycullen contest the President’s Cup final on Sunday (2.30pm ), while the club’s u-20s kick-start the action in their national final on Saturday (1pm ), also at the National Basketball Arena.
For the second year running a Galway team is contesting the division one cup final after JM&L Auctioneers Titans claimed the title last year - a major achievement for both clubs and county.
Moycullen, having won the cup once in 2009, face a strong C&S Blue Demons from Cork. Three of that winning side from five years ago are in the current squad - father and son duo, Nollaig and Dylan Cunningham, and James Loughnane, who produced an MVP performance in the semi-final win against Galway Titans. A third member of the Cunningham family is also in the senior squad this year, u-18 player Kyle Cunningham.
Currently top of the division one league, Moycullen’s recruitment of Paul Freeman, the return of Chris McNairney from Titans and Ronan O’Sullivan from Ballincollig, has added steel to the team. Aided by local talent Ian Burke and u-20 players Sean Candon, Rory Gilson, Stephen O’Brien, Daragh Mulkerrins, and Joe Tummon (also still u-18 ), the team is well balanced.
Coached by Salva Camps, Moycullen face they a highly skilled and more experienced Demons team that led all the way in their 1-3 to 88 semi-final win over Team Left Bank Kilkenny.
U-20 v Belfast
The u-20 men’s team face Belfast Star which won the equivalent competition at u-18 level.
Sean Candon, Rory Gilson, Stephen O’Brien, Daragh Mulkerrins, Joe Tummon and Kyle Cunningham have been playing in the senior squad this season, while coach Nollaig Cunningham can also call on Jack Costelloe, Connor Curran, brothers Sean and Eoghan Kelly, Dara O'Sullivan, Conor Egan and point guard Rory Heffernan.
Sponsored locally by SuperValu Moycullen, the u-20s know what they are up against in this fancied Belfast side, but will be hoping they can repeat the club’s u-20 success of 2008.
• Moycullen Basketball Club is organising supporters’ buses to both games. The u-20s bus leaves An Furan, Moycullen at 8.30am on Saturday, while the bus for the President’s Cup game leaves An Furan, Moycullen at 10am.To book a seat contact Mary Gilson 087-6298925 or Julie O'Brien 087-7977953.
Tickets to the u-20 final are €5 for adults with entry free to children u-16. Tickets to the Presidents’Cup final are priced at €10 for adults with concessions available. Followers unable to travel can watch the President’s Cup Final via Basketball Ireland’s live streaming service on Sunday.