Moycullen basketball pipped at the post again

SSE Airtricity Moycullen took on Belfast Star in their third successive home game, but came up just short with the visitors taking the spoils by 74-71.

Despite missing a number of players through injury, Moycullen started this Premier League fixture firing. Sean Candon and Dylan Cunningham connected on back-to-back three pointers, while Paul Freeman and Ronan O’Sullivan were able to finish possessions inside. However Belfast managed to pull themselves back into the game during the last four minutes, American Shawn Vanzant proving influential as they tied the game at 18-18.

Freeman continued his good showing in the second quarter, while Cian Nihill also got off the mark for the Galway side. Stephen Tummon had an immediate impact after his introduction, converting on three consecutive possessions, while both Kyle Cunningham and Sean Candon continued their good form.  However Belfast Star continued to match Moycullen score for score and with neither side able to open up a substantial lead, the visitors edged ahead by 36-34.

They continued to pull away in the vital third period, carving out a six point lead. Moycullen responded through Nihill, O’Sullivan, Freeman and Paul O’Brien, and when Dylan Cunningham buried a three-pointer inside the last minute of the period, the sides were level once more, 54-54.

Belfast’s hot shooting continued in the final quarter, but Moycullen's Ronan O’Sullivan and Stephen Tummon  kept their side in touch. Halfway through Belfast Star led by four, but a pair from Nihill and Cunningham pulled Moycullen back. When Cunningham was fouled on a three-point attempt, he converted two of three shots to level with just two minutes remaining.

After O’Sullivan and Nihill hit again for Moycullen, they had a chance to take the lead, but failed to capitalise. On the other end, Vanzant was fouled and hit a pair of free-throws, extending the Belfast lead to three, and  in a desperate bid to level again Dylan Cunningham threw up a deep shot from close to the halfway line, but  it hit the back iron of the rim just as time expired.

Moycullen: Paul Freeman 16, Ronan O’ Sullivan 12, Stephen Tummon 11, Cian Nihill 6, Dylan Cuningham 13, Paul O’ Brien 4, Sean Candon 3, Kyle Cunningham 3.

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