Final Score: DCU Saints 78 – 91 Moycullen
By Steven Heaney
MOYCULLEN made it two wins from two games to start this new year, overcoming DCU Saints in Dublin this past weekend.
Moycullen now move into a tie with Killester for the second-from-bottom position in league, one game behind Maree and Saints.
For this latest win, which could prove invaluable come the end of the season, Moycullen did have to weather a late rally from DCU, before eventually getting themselves over the line.
In the first quarter Moycullen struck first. Paul Kelly and Paddy Lyons were aggressive off the dribble early, using their quickness to their advantage.
DCU though held something of an advantage on the inside, with their big-man pairing of Superleague veterans Martins Provizors and Michael Bonaparte providing most of their early baskets. At the end of the first, Moycullen held a three-point lead.
In the second quarter, DCU garnered some momentum and edged themselves ahead. Their big-men continued to pick up points, while also using their size to disrupt Moycullen’s play on the opposite end. Moycullen connected on some three-point shots late on in the second, but by halftime, DCU were on top by 6.
Whatever coach John Cunningham said to his side at the interval must have had some effect, as Moycullen’s offense looked exceptional in the second half.
Good offensive ball movement led to some open three-point looks which Joseph Tummon, Grant Olsson and Kyle Cunningham, amongst others, converted.
With the teams tied at the end of the third, Moycullen would have known that this game could give them an important away win.
In the final quarter spurned on by excellent defence, Moycullen had given themselves an eight-point lead and looked to be in control. However, DCU would make a late push and set up a tense final few minutes.
With less than two minutes on the clock, Grant Olsson drove, and kicked the ball out to Paddy Lyons, who nailed a huge three-point shot which gave Moycullen some breathing space. From there, Moycullen held DCU scoreless and closed the game and put the seal on an impressive win.
Speaking after the game, Moycullen coach John Cunningham addressed the importance of this latest win:
“These two wins over Christmas are really vital for us, if we want to have a chance of avoiding a relegation battle,” he said.
“We’re not out of trouble yet, but we’ve given ourselves a chance and a bit of momentum.
“We moved the ball really well offensively tonight and our guards did a great job of both scoring and sharing the ball. We have a couple weeks now to get ready for the next one and we’ll continue to take it game by game,” he added.
Next up for Moycullen is a home game against UCD Marian on Jan 18. That one tips off at 19:30 in the NUI Galway Kingfisher Gym.
Meanwhile, their U20 club mates are in National Cup semi-final action this coming Sunday at 1pm in Neptune Stadium, Cork
Moycullen: Grant Olsson (19), Paddy Lyons (19), Paul Kelly (18), Joseph Tummon (11), Kyle Cunningham (9), Daniel Vila (5), Conor Curran (5), James Conaire (4), Dylan Cunningham (2)