SSE Airtricity Moycullen are back on the road when they return to the capital to face Eanna Basketball Club on Sunday.
Back in the premier division, Moycullen will be hoping to bounce back from their two opening losses, including their first home match against UCD Marion on Saturday in the Kingfisher Gym at NUI Galway.
The teams looked to be evenly matched initially, with both sides trading scores early on, and at the close of the opening period, the home side enjoyed a narrow three-point lead.
Stephen Tummon and Paul Freeman began to show their physicality and effectiveness, while American import Andy Burns also began to assert himself, but UCD's forward Dustan Moreira converted on a couple of key opportunities to take a three-point lead at half time.
The visitors upped their offensive tempo early in the third quarter, and despite scores from Cian Nihill and Paul O’Brien, Moycullen’s defensive intensity dropped, allowing UCD to pick up some easy baskets. When Dan James connected on a trio of three-pointers, UCD slowly pulled away, taking a 12-point lead.
One of Moycullen’s youngest players, Stephen O’Brien, opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer, and with James Loughnane solid defensively, and a pair of three-pointers from Loughnane and Patrick Lyons, Moycullen cut the deficit to eight.
Unfortunately UCD’s Neil Baynes and Mark Nagle contributed with key scores for the Dubliners, while Moycullen missed opportunities. Despite further scores from Nihill and Burns, it was too little too late for the Moycullen men.
Moycullen: Andy Burns (13 ), Paul Freeman (12 ), Dylan Cunningham (10 ), Cian Nihill (10 ), Stephen Tummon (5 ), Patrick Lyons (5 ), James Loughnane (3 ), Stephen O’Brien (3 ), Ronan O’Sullivan (2 ), Paul O’Brien (2 ), Kyle Cunningham, Sean Candon. Coach: Nollaig Cunningham.