SSE Airtricity Moycullen could not make it a double victory for the club at the National Basketball Stadium on Sunday, edged out by C&S Blue Demons on a scoreline of 62-59.
After Moycullen’s u-20s had secured their National Cup on Saturday, hopes were high Moycullen could add the President’s National Cup to their growing trophy cabinet, but two late free throws ensured the decider went Cork’s way.
However Moycullen will be proud of their contribution to what could well be described as the game of the weekend.
Demons started the better of the two sides, opening up a seven-point lead inside the first three minutes, but it was Moycullen’s ability to convert three-pointers that kept them within touching distance. Eventually they got working on their mid-range shots and Ronan O’Sullivan converted a jumper to leave just one point in it nearing the buzzer.
Andrew Fitzgerald’s strength and size did cause problems for Moycullen under the rim, and his six points contributed to Demons’ lead at the end of the first, 16-13.
Moycullen, however, managed to take the lead inside the first two minutes of the second quarter, thanks to a Rory Gilson three. Demons regained the advantage and David Murphy converted two free throws to further open that gap, but a three-pointer from Stephen O’Brien kept Moycullen ticking over. Dylan Cunningham landed another shot from outside the arc, it was 37-30 to Demons at the break.
Dan Griffin announced himself to the third quarter with five points in the opening minute. Moycullen were not going to go away easily though. The deficit was reduced to five following baskets from James Loughnane and Cunningham.
Demons held the lead as the quarter progressed, before Moycullen struck two heavy blows. Another three pointer from Cunningham was followed by a steal and layup by O’Sullivan. It looked as if Demons would hold on, but Gilson nabbed a three pointer at the death to give Moycullen a 48-46 lead.
Moycullen held their slender lead until halfway through the fourth quarter, but a basket from David Murphy put the Cork side back in front. That lead switched again, before Shane McCarthy drained a three to give Demons a two-point cushion. Ronan O’Sullivan responded with a three for Moycullen, and Paul Freeman was awarded two free throws near the death, securing one.
However a foul on David Murphy resulted in two free throws for Demons, ensuring that at the end of an enthralling final, Demons prevailed 62-59 while the club also captured the premier league cup.
Moycullen top scorers: Dylan Cunningham 20, Ronan O’Sullivan 11, Stephen O’Brien 9, Rory Gilson 7, Paul Freeman 4.