On Saturday last, September 7th, our U 18 “mens” team went to Cork for pre-season tournament. The phrase which was very popular last year could well be applied to our U18 team in that the bulk of the team was made up of U17’s and U16’s. However, they performed very well and rose to the challenge.
Our first group match was against Limerick Lakers. As normal, we were slow starters, probably after the journey, and it was a very tough tight affair. With 6 minute quarters, we were trailling 18 to 16 at half time. Having settled into it, we put in a great 3rd qr with a lead of 31 to 29. The final qr was a real battle. We were up by 1 with 3.42 left. Increased our lead to 4 with 1.30 left and eventually ran out winners 40 to 34. It was a great match.
Our second match was against a much improved and athletic Tipp Titans team. An unfortunate ankle injury to our “big man” Joseph Tummon in the first minute meant that our squad had to really stand up and be counted. Of course that was never in doubt. The disruption to our game plan meant that we only had a narrow lead after the 1st qr 16 to 15. We pushed on in 2nd qr to increase our lead to 28 to 25 at half time. 3rd qr continued at a very fast pace and finished with Moycullen leading 38 to 34. In the end, we had a hard fought win of 51 to 40 and topped our group. Every player knew they had been in a battle.
We then had a bit of a break before our Qr Final vs Templeogue. This was a really tight match. Having trailled by 9 pts to 2 in early part of 1st qr, our lads did really well to go in at end of 1st qr only down 1 pt – 10 to 9. We had a great start to the 2nd qr leading 19 to 14 midway through, but some fine outside shooting by Templeogue point guard left us down 22 to 20 at half time. 3rd qr was a ding dong battle for scores and we started the 4th qr trailling by 7 – 34 to 27. Despite reducing the deficit on a number of occasions during the final qr, we just couldn’t sustain it and eventually lost in a scoreline of 48 to 38.
It was a great performance and will stand to them in the up coming National Cup.
Squad: Darragh Mulkerrins, Sean Candon, Kyle Cunningham, Jack Costelloe, Joseph Tummon, Rory Heffernan, Josh Marvesley, Max Brennan, Eoin Kelly & Conor Curran.
Coach: Nollaig Cunnigham. Manager: Annie Costelloe. Water(man): Martin Candon