Moycullen played their first game in the newly revamped Premier League with an away game to reigning League Champions UL Eagles in Limerick on Sunday evening. In a tight and tense affair UL Eagles eventually pulled out a 12 point win, 70 – 58. Although Moycullen lost, they will probably feel that the result could have gone either way and will be reasonably pleased with most aspects of the game. Coach Salva Camps will be encouraged by the teams overall performance and considering that 4 of this very young team were making their Premier League debut there were a lot of positives to take away from the game.
An excellent 1st quarter by Dylan Cunningham (on his return to action) and new signing Michael Callaghan from Wesleyan College had the men from the West up by 5 points and playing with excellent tenacity on defense, while pushing the ball on offence. UL aren’t champions for nothing and with a small let down on intensity in the 2nd quarter they got on top and slowly opened up a gap with some excellent outside shooting to lead by 6 at the half, Again Callaghan did a good job scoring in this quarter assisted by the returning Eoghan Maxwell.
Moycullen rightly felt that they were right in this contest but a bad start to the 3rd quarter saw some poor options taken which Eagles point guard Kinevane punished with ruthless efficiency on the other end, most disappointing from the teams point of view was the fact that a lot of the scores conceded were easy lay-ups. The lead at this point had stretched out to 16 points and the game was in danger of slipping away, Ronan O’Sullivan stepped up and hit two big scores to steady the ship a little.
Credit to Moycullen they battled hard and with Darragh Mulkerrins showing a determination beyond his years, they chipped away at the lead and midway through the 4th quarter it was down to 8. Unfortunately just when it looked like they had the momentum swing that they needed, a very harsh offensive foul was called and Limerick went down the other end and hit a very tough contested 3 to stretch the lead out once again. Despite Paul O’Brien hitting some excellent scores UL handled the pressure and the closing minutes with the composure that comes with being League Champions and closed out the win.
While there are certainly some aspects of the game that were disappointing and will require work, Moycullen will take some positives from the game. Callaghan, had a good all round game and looks like a real leader on the court. O’Sullivan, Mulkerrins & Gilson had solid debuts and will continue to improve. Next up for the young outfit is a tough away assignment to Cup Champions Neptune of Cork
Moycullen: Michael Callaghan (17), Dylan Cunningham (14), Eoghan Maxwell (10), Paul O’Brien (7), Ronan O’Sullivan (5), Stephen O’Brien (3), Darragh Mulkerrins (1), Tomas Gilson, Gerald Lyons, Ian Burke, Nollaig Cunningham