Final Score: Moycullen 71 – 88 Templeogue
By Steven Heaney
MOYCULLEN basketball club will now need something of a miracle if they are to qualify for the Superleague playoffs, after they suffered a crushing loss at home to Templeogue this past Sunday.
The Galway men, who were without a couple of players out through injury, were up against the odds from tip-off. Cup-champions Templeogue started the game extremely well, connecting on a trio of fast-break layups before Moycullen could get on the board. The visitors looked inside to their big-man pairing of Jason Kileen and Michael Bonaparte early and often, and Moycullen struggled to match their physicality.
Moycullen stayed patient though, and the scores slowly started to come- Joseph Tummon, Brandon McGuire and and Paul Freeman each chipping in some scores towards the end of the first period.
Templeogue seemed to be finding scores at will however, and by the end of the first, they had amassed a double-digit lead: 27-15
Moycullen’s offensive play improved significantly in the second. Coach John Cunningham mixed things up by introducing some substitutes, and Moycullen started to execute their sets more smoothly. Brandon McGuire, though under-sized in the post, chipped in eight points in the quarter.
Unfortunately for the home side, their defensive play was not so effectual. Whenever Templeogue needed a score, they simply looked inside to Kileen. His size and scoring ability inside forced Moycullen to double-up on him defensively- if he couldn’t score himself, he simply soaked up the pressure, and kicked the ball out to his guards for open jumpshots. Moycullen had no answer, and at halftime they found themselves trailing by 16.
The third quarter continued in the same vein. Moycullen fought admirably but they had to work extremely hard for every scoring opportunity. Conversely, Templeogue’s offense continued to flow, and they seemed to get an easy basket on every possession. Frustrated, Moycullen committed a handful of silly turnovers, making things even easier for the Dubliners. With three quarters played, Moycullen were now behind by 20.
The fourth quarter was essentially a formality. The Connemeara men did their utmost to cut Templeogue’s lead, but the visitors found a response to every Moycullen bucket. When the game came to it’s inevitable conclusion, the scoreboard read 88 – 71 in favour of the away team.
“The fact that we have a couple of players out with injuries, and a couple more on not 100 percent hurt us,” said Moycullen captain James Loughnanne.
“Credit to Templeogue though, they’re the cup champions for a reason. They played their game today, and we just couldn’t take them out of their comfort zone,” he added.
Next week, Moycullen travel north for a clash with Belfast Star, who are currently one position ahead of them on the league leaderboard. Moycullen will need two wins in their next two games, and some favourable results elsewhere, if they are to extend their season.
Moycullen: James Loughnanne (14), Patrick Lyons (12), Brandon McGuire (11), Kyle Cunningham (11), Joseph Tummon (10), Paul Freeman (7), Cian Nihill (6), Dylan Cunningham, Conor Curran, Mark Convery
Many thanks to Angela Kelly for the smashing photos from our game against Templeogue.
Link to her site & more photos is here