The start of the season has been a tough baptism of fire for the young Moycullen but they feel that they’ve competed excellently with two of the best teams in the Country and more than held their own.
Unlike last week where a good start to the game gave the team a great foundation to build from, Sunday’s start against the Cup Champions couldn’t have been worse. Neptune ran out to a 10-point lead getting easy scores whereas on other side we were struggling to get any decent look at the basket. A 3 from Dylan Cunningham, who had another excellent game, settled the team down and they went about getting back into the game. With Stephen O’Brien hitting some great 3’s and Mike Callaghan once again working tirelessly on defense the gap was down to 6 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Stopping the Neptune fast break was going to be key and much better transition defense, in particular from Eoghan Maxwell, lead to Neptune being frustrated on offence. With Ronan O’Sullivan beginning to find his range, Moycullen drew level midway through the quarter. However Neptune responded well to the challenge and led by 4 at the break.
The 3rd quarter was a real nip and tuck affair. Moycullen would close the gap only for Neptune to push the score out just a little bit more again. Crucially from our point of view we were never able to get the lead, on numerous occasions the gap would be down to 1 or 2 points or even level but we were never able to get over the hill and take the lead. At the close of the quarter Moycullen were still within touching distance but the gap was now at 9 points.
The 4th quarter was very frustrating from our point of view, Mike was getting hammered inside but unfortunately the refs didn’t see it that way and rather than getting scores and some easy opportunities from the free throw line, Neptune capitalised and were able maintain that gap of around 8 to 10 points.
Neptune ran up the score at the end hitting four 3’s in the last 2 minutes this could partially be attributed to the amount of energy that the lads had spent trying to haul back the early deficit but credit to Neptune; they showed the composure that comes with being Cup Champions and closed out the game when they needed to.
Mark Scannell, the Neptune coach had this to say about the game; “This was not a 20 point game. Moycullen came down and played really well and it was a ding-dong battle for large stretches”.
Again a lot of positives from the team, they pushed the ball well and for the most part their transition defense kept Neptune at bay, turnovers were down considerably compared to the first game and the team are starting to find their shooting touch. However, lack of focus at the start of the game really cost us and meant that we were playing chase up for the rest of the contest.
From the players point of view; Dylan, Eoghan and Mike continued their excellent start to the season. Stephen looks to have found his shooting touch and Ronan is beginning to find his feet at this level. Tomás once again did a good job at the point guard position and Paul is showing all the experience that he has. Gerald , Darragh and Ian are doing a great job particularly on defense for the team.
The lads and Salva will feel that they are beginning to come together as team and that a full match performance isn’t that far away. Hopefully that will be the case next Saturday in the Kingfisher for our first home game against UCD Marian. Tip-off is 8:15pm and the team is really looking forward to playing in front of their fantastic supporters in a packed Kingfisher Gym.
Moycullen: Michael Callaghan (19), Dylan Cunningham (16), Stephen O’Brien (12), Ronan O’Sullivan (11), Eoghan Maxwell (4), Paul O’Brien (6), Tomas Gilson, Darragh Mulkerrins, Gerald Lyons, Ian Burke, Nollaig Cunningham, Evan Costelloe
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