After a fantastic weekend in Cork we finally have a chance to draw a breath and think about the heroic 80 – 75 win over a physically bigger Titan’s team in the President’s Cup semi-final. The winners had so many heros it’s hard to know where to start. James Loughnane, with 19 points, was the MVP and his energetic contribution will be best remembered for his late steal and how he iced the free-throws to take the game to over time.However his continuous attacking of the basket left Titans in foul trouble late on and his pressure on Titans guards left them struggling to execute against a great team defence. Ronan O’Sullivan was the next highest scorer with 17 points. Ronan took a lot of the physical pressure inside when Paul Freeman was sitting out early on 3 fouls and played to the end despite crippling cramp in OT. However, Paul didn’t let his side down and on his re-introduction dominated in the paint. In addition to his 15 points he added 15 rebounds. He was seriously pumped and dived on any loose ball as if his life depended on it. Paul was an inspiration to his younger team mates and has been a great acquisition for SSE Airtricity Moycullen this season. Paul has previously played with Titans and coached them to their most successful ever season when they won the National Shield.
Captain Dylan Cunningham had one of his best performances of the season. He posted 13 points and added 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. He also made crucial shots in the run in. Chris McNairney chipped in with 6 points against his former team mates and gave solid minutes across the game. Sean Candon started and gave a big defensive performance in addition to adding 5 crucial points around half-time, 2 rebounds and 3 steals. Rory Gilson gave variation at the guard spot and, while not matching his scoring exploits of the Under 20 game, added a creditable 4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Stephen O’Brien played his part and added a big 3 at a crucial stage. Regular contributors Darragh Mulkerrins, Ian Burke, and Under 18 pair Kyle Cunningham and Joe Tummon didn’t get an opportunity to impress on the day but will no doubt clock up many more minutes this season.
Another hero was the club’s voluntary Physio, Sonya Curran. Her hydration programme stood to the team at the latter stages as Titans visibly tired and she worked her magic in getting James Loughnane and Ronan O’Sullivan back into the game following injuries and cramp.
Credit too must go to a tough Titans team who played really well and who, with their supporters, were gracious in defeat.
Coach Salva Camps led the team calmly from the bench, even late on when Titans had the momentum and Moycullen needed to eat into a five point deficit with less than 2 minutes to go. Overall, he and Assistant Coach Nollaig Cunningham will be satisfied with the season so far but there’s lots of big matches to play including an important National League game against the Puff Summers led Team Left Bank Kilkenny this coming Saturday in the Kingfisher at 5.30pm. A big and appreciative home crowd is expected.