Saturday 10th February 2018, Carroll Arena, Dublin
KUBS 71 (40)
Moycullen 87 (41)
A satisfying if not outstanding display from Moycullen on the road against the league’s basement side KUBS in Dublin was enough for the Westerners to emerge with a 16 point victory and keep them within touching distance of a top six finish.
KUBS, who have yet to register a win in the 2017/2018 season, played with plenty of spirit and kept close to a more talented Moycullen outfit for two and half quarters before eventually running out of steam to slump to their 18th straight loss of the campaign.
For Moycullen, the win was a nice bounce back from their tough loss at home the weekend before to UCC Demons where a 12 point advantage early in the game was squandered. It comes before a testing two weeks when they first travel to take on second place Swords Thunder on Saturday the 17th before welcoming Cup champions Templeogue to NUIG on Sunday the 25th.
The results from those two games will likely tell if Moycullen’s charge on a post season playoff spot is on the cards or not.
To put themselves in position to do so however, they had to take care of business in Dublin against a KUBS side who, despite being winless, possess a young and dangerous team, evident by their thrilling U20 National Cup final victory over Moycullen at the end of January.
Keen to settle some scores from that loss suffered by their younger colleagues, Moycullen started the game Saturday with a good intensity and pace, finding easy scores in transition and through effective ball movement.
KUBS however found dividend from their greater quickness off the dribble and repeatedly found scores through strong drives to the basket. At the end of the first quarter, only a basket separated the teams with the 19 to 21 advantage in favour of Moycullen a fair reflection of the early goings.
Moycullen’s greater size on the interior with Brandon McGuire, Paul Freeman and Joe Tummon began to show in the second period as the visitors looked comfortable and began to create a lead.
A series of missed shots and poor communication on defence closer to the half time break undid much of this work however and at the half there was only a point between the sides on a score of 40 to 41.
Fearful of letting the game become a fourth quarter lottery, Moycullen visibly upped their defensive intensity to start the third quarter and limited KUBS to just 9 points in the period.
Continued scoring from McGuire and a deft touch around the basket from Patrick Lyons kept Moycullen’s offence ticking over and going into the final period the visitors enjoyed a 15 point lead, the score-line reading 50 to 65.
The game, over as a contest, played out to its inevitable finish in the fourth quarter as Moycullen, while giving significant court time to its younger members, walked away with a 16 point victory, 71 to 87.
“Not our best performance, particularly on the defensive end at times, but enough to get the win and move on,” said Moycullen guard Patrick Lyons, who finished the game on 18 points and six assists.
Moycullen Scorers: Brandon McGuire 29, Patrick Lyons 18, Paul Freeman 13, Dylan Cunningham 9, James Loughnane 8, Joseph Tummon 4, Paul Kelly 2, Connor Curran 2, Kyle Cunningham 2, Cian Nihill