Maree look to catch Moycullen in title fight

The SSE Airtricity Moycullen men’s basketball team extended its lead in the men’s division one league on Saturday with a 56-46 win over Fr Mathews in Colaiste Iognaid.

Now on an unbeaten league run of eight games, Moycullen are now six clear of local rivals Maree, who have a game in hand.

In a low scoring game Paul Freeman broke the 20-point barrier for the fourth time this season, while James Loughnane and Dylan Cunningham helped to maintain the double digit lead earned in the opening quarters.

Maree are now the only team left in the league who can catch Moycullen in the race for the division one title. John Finn’s side put up their biggest score of the season to beat Team Left Bank Kilkenny 96-69 at the Jes and can narrow the gap at the top to just three points with a win at C&S Blue Demons on Sunday.

JM&L Auctioneers Titans are back in Cork again this weekend after a tough loss away by 86-68 at Demons. The Galway side never recovered from a shaky start despite a captain’s effort from Paulius Peldzius. This Saturday’s game against Fr Mathews will have a big say on whether Titans will qualify for a post-season place in the League Cup.

In the women’s division one league NUIG Mystics are still scrapping for post-season silverware despite last Sunday’s 66-58 defeat to Portlaoise Panthers.

Mystics host Tralee Imperials at Claregalway Community Centre this Saturday and a win would be a massive step towards a place in the play-offs. The regulation season then finishes with a trip to Castleisland in Kerry on February 21 to face Team Denjoe’s American Style.

“We’ve two massive games,” says Mystics guard Ailish O’Reilly. “There’s nothing easy about it, but we’ll give it a shot.”

Last weekend Mystics were ahead for the first, second and third quarters, but a supreme 15-0 run down the stretch gave Panthers the win, maintaining their 100 per cent record in all competitions.

“It's disappointing when you get that close, considering the first game we played them at home we lost by 21,” said O’Reilly.

Mystics refused to play second fiddle to the cup champions and allied some robust defence with quick transitions from O’Reilly and some big outside shots from Nicole Krusen.

“We had something to prove that we are better than that. We've a few new players, so I think it's just a matter of mixing it and getting to know each other. We’re disappointed with the result but I think we’re improving day by day.”

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