Moycullen travelled to Kubs in Dublin on Sunday to play the 2nd round of the U20 National Cup with a massively depleted squad of only 7 players available to them on the day. Kubs are an excellent team and even with a full strength team this was going to be a tough game, with such a small squad it was probably mission impossible but the team put in an excellent performance of real grit and heart to make Kubs work for every point.
The game started slow for both teams as they struggled to find their rhythm on the offensive end and it was Kubs who took the lead before some great work by Darragh Mulkerrins on the offensive glass led to Moycullen’s first scores from the free throw line. While we were getting the looks at the basket, the shots weren’t dropping and Kubs fast break execution was clinical led by Stephen & Kevin O’Hanlon.
With Evan Costelloe picking up his second foul midway through the 1st quarter his brother Jack came into the game and immediately got on the scoreboard with an excellent put-back. The defence continue to make the hosts work for every point but a run of scores by Conor McCracken towards the end of the quarter stretched the Kubs lead out to 8 points.
Rory Gilson, playing for the first time this year, got the first score of the 2nd quarter to settle the team down a little but Kubs responded in kind.
With the second quarter playing out very similar to the first, every score was crucial for both teams and Kubs just had that little bit extra scoring punch and pushed further ahead as the half came to an end.
The third quarter proved to be the best for the very young team from Moycullen and while they were unable to put any significant dent into the Kubs lead they got a little bit of fluency in their offence with Kyle Cunningham scoring and moving the ball well at the guard spot. Sean Candon was a constant threat as was Darragh & Stephen but unfortunately even though they were getting good looks the shots just didn’t drop for them.
The fourth quarter saw Stephen connect with some nice dribble penetrations to start the quarter and with Kyle also finishing well down the lane the lads had their best scoring quarter of the game. However, the relentless pass was always going to catch up to the lads because of the short rotation and credit to Kubs they were clinical in the last 2 minutes of the game to push the lead out.
While the lads ultimately lost to an excellent Kubs team they battled hard all the way through; they could have laid down and given up but their resilience and attitude was fantastic and a credit to the club.
Evan Costelloe battled hard all game inside and Jack his younger brother had one of his best games in a long time despite played with a number of injuries from last week while on U18 duty. Stephen O’Brien never gave up and despite their seeming to be a lid on the basket for him he never stopped working tirelessly. Darragh Mulkerrins once again gave an outstanding display of hustle, heart and commitment and with Sean Candon displaying similar attributes no fault can be found in their display.
Kyle Cunningham was excellent throughout and his ability to run the game from the guard spot at such a young age was another highlight of the game
The biggest cheer from the travelling supporters was to greet Rory Gilson on his return to the court and was fantastic to hear,once he gets his fitness and sharpness back he will be a great addition to the SSE Renewables Premier League team
Great credit to the 7 lads who travelled up on the day; their never say die attitude, hard work and perseverance was fantastic. They left everything they had on the court and couldn’t be faulted for the guts and effort they showed on the day
Squad: Evan Costelloe 2, Rory Gilson 2, Stephen O’Brien 11, Darragh Mulkerrins 10, Sean Candon 2, Jack Costelloe 4, Kyle Cunningham 15.