St Brendans, Tralee 66
Another away win and another two points. In the quest for a divisional title and a home draw for the play-offs, An Cearnog Nua, Moycullen did what was asked of them to keep pace with current division leaders St Mary’s, Castleisland.
In Tralee on Saturday another good start set An Cearnog Nua, Moycullen on the right road and they continued to dominate the game in a contest that turned niggly. Some 62 fouls were shared equally in a contest the referees struggled to control.
However in the end Moycullen were happy to come away with a win and no injuries as they face into a crucial two-week period. Next up is a road trip to Waterford on Saturday followed by another trip on Sunday to Palmerstown in Dublin to face Ballon, a team of athletic Lithuanians who are fighting for the top spot in the Northern conference.
Cian Nihill, left wide open, nailed his first three three-pointers as An Cearnog Nua, Moycullen were quickly off the mark. At the other end Moycullen struggled to get their defence to its normal level and young Mark Mitchell punished them inside. However Glenn Hynes and Garnett Griffin connected on scores to give the visitors a 24-14 first-quarter lead.
With the game already taking on an overly physical dimension, Moycullen looked to run and avoid having to work against the Tralee zone. They got some early reward in the second as Nihill continued his scoring blitz, connecting on 20 of his team-high 23 in the first half. However, Tralee proved effective from the foul line and managed to hang in with some good free throw shooting. They also had Moycullen in foul trouble with Nihill, Maxwell, and Garnett Griffin all on three. However, despite that, the half ended with an extended Moycullen lead 49-33. Nollaig Cunningham and James Loughnane led the offensive charge in the third, stretching the lead to 28 as Tralee had no answer to Moycullen’s pressure defence. However Fearghal O’Sullivan kept Tralee in the game until free throws from Griffin and Hynes and a three from Hynes at the start of the fourth saw the lead extend to a point where coach Mardon could run his bench.