A much improved performance saw SSE Renewables Moycullen come up just short at the final whistle against Star after a long trip to Belfast on Sunday.
The game was an offensive master class from Mike Callaghan and once he got the ball he proved unstoppable all game and was a constant thorn in Belfast Star’s side. Finishing with an incredible 37 points and 13 rebounds he was the outstanding performer in an exciting and entertaining game in the North.
A good start from both teams gave an early indication that this was going to be a tight game and with Callaghan finding his rhythm offensively, SSE Renewables Moycullen were pushing their hosts all the way. Wisely the team was looking for him every time down the court and he produced the goods on nearly every possession and the end of the quarter had the Westerners up by 1. In the second quarter it was more of the same and by the end of the half that lead was pushed out a little to 3 points, with Callaghan it appeared not able to miss from anywhere on the floor.
At the start of the half Star changed their tactics considerably to try and curb the influence Callaghan was having on the game but when they did this it opened up the floor for Dylan Cunningham and Eoghan Maxwell in particular. The quarter was once again score for score and while Star had taken the lead there was only 3 points in it and it was all to play for going into the last quarter.
Unfortunately the lack of balance in scoring allowed Star to concentrate their defensive efforts on a few of the SSE Renewables Moycullen players and the scores started to dry up. However, credit to SSE Renewables Moycullen they dug deep and started to get some defensive stops on the other end. Whereas earlier in the game it was score for score it was now stop for stop; the outcome of the game would be decided on who could squeeze that little bit more out on the offensive end while continuing to force stops on defense. Alas, it proved to be Star that found that extra bit on both ends of the floor and they secured the win in the last few minutes of the game.
No time for the young Moycullen team to think about what could have been as they are on the road again next weekend against Templeogue from Dublin, who are a new team into the League this year. If they can repeat the performance of the first three quarters and reduce the poor mistakes in the 4th quarter, SSE Renewables Moycullen will feel that there are in with a real shout next weekend
Moycullen: Michael Callaghan (37), Dylan Cunningham (22), Eoghan Maxwell (6), Paul O’Brien (4), Tomas Gilson, Stephen O’Brien, Ronan O’Sullivan, Gerald Lyons, Ian Burke, Nollaig Cunningham, Evan Costelloe, Fionntan O’Connor