Moycullen basketball club hosted an international Basketball tournament on the Bank holiday weekend with three teams travelling from Spain & France joining the Moycullen U16s and two Irish International squads. BC Ardres from France – a club that we have visited annually over the past twenty years made the trip to Galway. Two teams from Barcelona – Sant Andreu de Nazaret & Circol Catolic Badalona brought their marvellous, spectator friendly, blend of basketball west. All of the travelling teams and their coaches were hosted in Moycullen over the three days and a special thanks to all who looked after our guest and made the occasion special.
As for the games, Moycullen topped their group with wins on Saturday over Sant Andreu & Ireland 2, the later, being an absolute nail-biter as the boys led by three with only 3 seconds left on the clock. But it was enough for Ireland’s point guard to drain a 3 and send the game to overtime. Moycullen really took the game by the scruff of the neck in added time and ran out winners by nine on a 71-62 scoreline. Ireland 1 topped the other side and both teams progressed to the semi-finals. Sunday’s semi saw Moycullen up against Sant Andreu again after they had come -through a hard fought semi-final against their city neighbours – Circol Catolic. This time, the lads had a much harder task as Sant Andreu had learned from the previous day’s defeat. The outcome however, was the same and Moycullen advanced to the final against Ireland 1. The passage to the final did come with a cost as injuries began to mount. Iarlaith O’Sullivan sprained his ankle in the first five minutes against Ireland 2, James Cummins took a heavy knock in the thigh causing both to miss the final.
Played before a large vociferous proud, the boys were in no way overawed by the task ahead & ran up a ten point lead, 17-7 in the first quarter with Paul Kelly, James Connaire & Tommy McNeela causing the Irish team all sorts of problems. Moycullen continued to press and reached halftime with a 4 point lead on a scoreline of 24-19. The crowd really got behind the team and a major shock looked on the cards. However, The Irish coach opted for a triangle & two defence strategy in the third quarter and Moycullen found the going a lot tougher. Ireland got the important scores and Moycullen just could not find the same rhythm thereafter – eventually going down 51-38. The boys can be very proud of their weekend’s performances winning three with their only defeat coming at the hands of the National U16 team. Coach Cunningham has plenty of talent to work with and if they continue to improve, the season ahead holds lots of promise.
Squad: James Wall, James Cummins, Eoin O’Reilly, Oisin McDonagh, Mark Tobin, Paul Kelly, James Connaire, William Onyenweson, Aaron Kiernan, Mairtin O’Conghaile, Iarlaith O’Sullivan, Cormac Croke & Tommy McNeela. Coach Dylan Cunningham, Manager Barry Connaire.
A big thank you to all Moycullen parents who helped out over the weekend with hosting our travelling friends, providing teas, coffees, sandwiches & cake and to the teams of underage player who helped on the table, to Mary & Martin for getting the hall ready, Ian for the music, to Sonya who was kept busy patching up the wounded and our supporters for a truly memorable weekend.