Another daunting task faces SSE Airtricity Moycullen on Saturday evening (7pm ) when they return to the NUIG Kingfisher to host leaders Templeogue.
Having faced Griffith Swords Thunder, who share top spot with Templeogue, last weekend in Dublin, this game will once again test Moycullen's resources as they head towards the end of the season.
However the Galway side will go into the fixture with great heart. Although Moycullen lost last weekend by 83-74, it was a tight match till the game's closing moments, and it showed many similarities to last January’s cup semi-finals match against the same team.
Both teams got off to a great start to begin the first quarter, utilising the fast break to achieve scores. Moycullen were able to restrict Thunder’s second chance looks early, thanks to the rebounding of Paul Freeman and Philip Lawrence-Ricks. Although Thunder’s big men proved efficient in the post, the outside shooting of Patrick Lyons and Philip Lawrence-Ricks helped Moycullen stay in the game. The score was neck and neck to finish the quarter, 17-16 to Swords Thunder.
Swords Thunder began to break away in the second quarter as their guards were able to penetrate the defence and pick up fouls. Moycullen’s offence became quite stagnant, which lead to a number of turnovers and easy baskets for their opponents. Despite this, Philip Lawrence-Ricks displayed his offensive repertoire, but Thunder’s quick offence allowed them to gain the lead to end the half, 41-37.
Moycullen held on to their good offensive form in the second half, as guards Dylan Cunningham and James Loughnane were able to get the ball to their teammates in the right spots for scores, finishing the game with 10 assists between them. James Loughnane also displayed his shooting touch, helping Moycullen stay in the game with his four three-pointers. However, Thunder gained the rebounding advantage and were able to get numerous looks at the basket, putting much pressure on Moycullen’s defence. Although the game was still tight, Thunder held the momentum going into the fourth quarter, leading 63-57.
Moycullen’s big men Paul Freeman and Philip Lawrence-Ricks continued to score down low in the fourth quarter, but Thunder’s fast style and ability to get to the free throw line allowed them to pull away.
Moycullen: Philip Lawrence-Ricks (25 ), James Loughnane (16 ), Paul Freeman (15 ), Joseph Tummon (9 ), Patrick Lyons (7 ), Dylan Cunningham (4 ), Rory Gilson, Sean Candon, John Hackett, Oisin Carey.