An excellent team performance saw SSE Renewables Moycullen come away with a great win against Templeogue in the Oblate Hall in what was the first meeting of these teams at the top level of Irish basketball.
The game started off franticly and while Dylan Cunningham kept the opponent’s American quiet, alarms bells were ringing for SSE Renewables Moycullen with Dan James & Phil Taylor combining for 22 of 27 points. However, once again Mike Callaghan was unstoppable in netting 12 1st quarter points and crucially from Moycullen’s point of view, the scoring spread was much better than last week with Paul O’Brien in particular to the fore ably assisted by younger brother Stephen & Sean Candon to leave the gap at just 2 at the end of Q1.
A poor start to the 2nd saw Templeogue stretching the lead out to 8 and those alarm bells were getting louder. However, a number of defensive switches from SSE Renewables Moycullen saw Eoghan Maxwell in particular doing a great job on the main scoring threats of Templeogue. With Tomas Gilson’s constant harassment of the opponent’s guards the Dubliners were suddenly struggling to get into any offensive rhythm and with Callaghan swopping in for an excellent offensive tip at the end of the half; SSE Renewables Moycullen had taken the lead by 1 point.
The 3rd quarter of the game saw this focus and energy continue on defense from all the team and with Ronan O’Sullivan making inroads on the low block and converted some crucial scores to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Even with these scores the offense was a little stop start at times it didn’t unsettle the young team from the West and they continued to build the lead to leave 7 between the teams going into the final 10 minutes.
Gerald Lyons put in a solid stint on defense to start the 4th quarter but it was always going to be tough to keep a high scoring team quiet for 3 quarters and while the defense started to leak a little, the offence all of a sudden was fluid with superb ball movement resulting in easy scores for SSE Renewables Moycullen.
A 3-minute spell in the middle of the final quarter had The Oblate Halls rocking to the sound of Moycullen supporters when Callaghan finished a monster alley-oop from Cunningham to be followed up by back-to-back 3’s from O’Brien. The lead was now 10 with 3 minutes to go and that elusive win was in sight.
While those last 3 minutes were nervous and edge of the seat at times the Moycullen lads held out and secured a well deserved first win in the campaign.
The next 2 weeks sees a break from league action with SSE Renewables Moycullen playing Neptune in the cup, with the first game in Cork on Saturday 9th November. The team will be hoping that they can bring the good defensive effort from the middle quarters of the games against Templeogue & Belfast Star and extend them to a full game. They are beginning to find some fluidity on offense in those last two game and hopefully they’ll bring that into the cup games against Neptune.
Mike Callaghan 31, Stephen O’Brien 14, Dylan Cunningham 12, Paul O’Brien 12, Sean Candon 7, Ronan O’Sullivan 5, Eoghan Maxwell 2, Tomas Gilson, Gerald Lyons, Darragh Mulkerrins, Ian Burke, Nollaig Cunningham