Garveys Tralee Warriors 81
It was heartbreak for a second weekend in a row for Moycullen when they fell yet again to a single basket defeat, losing to Garveys Tralee Warriors 84 points to 81 in NUIG’s Sports Centre.
Following on from a similar narrow loss against Maree the week before, Moycullen came out the wrong end of a frantic finish that saw Tralee demonstrate the cool heads that made them finish as champions just two seasons ago.
“It’s really disappointing,” said a visibly dejected Moyculen head coach John Cunningham after the final whistle.
“We struggled with their point guard all night and we were maybe a bit slow to adjust but we struggled early to get to the pace of the game.”
While Moycullen were certainly missing a step on the defensive end early, they actually fared relatively well at the offensive side of the court with Joe Tummon and Grant Olsson establishing a nice rhythm to edge out a 14 to 12 lead mid-way through the first quarter.
There were ominous signs for the westerners however in the form of several explosive and successful drives to the basket by American guard Aaron Calixte who finished as the game’s top scorer with 31 points.
Scores from both teams were coming thick and fast for both sides with Superleague debutant, Niall Bree impressing in particular for the Galwegians.
When the dust settled on a somewhat frantic but nonetheless exciting first half, Tralee were nine points to the good, 47 to 38 on the back of their guard combo of Calixte and Fergal O’Sullivan.
That lead was to collapse with a strong Moycullen start to the third quarter as Kyle Cunningham and Josh Marvesley found more space and it was 56 to 56 with just under four minutes to go in the third quarter.
Having expanded a significant amount of energy on that comeback, MOycullen then fell a little flat for the crucial period at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth and the men from Kingdom took full advantage and a quick succession of scores had them out to a ten point lead and looking likely to leave Galway with a win.
Moycullen fought right to the final whistle however and scores from Conor Curran, Cunningham and Olsson reduced the deficit to as close as a single point with 45 seconds to go.
That was to be as close as Moycullen could get. A Calixte drive and dish for a strong finish by his teammate gave them the cushion needed to just about see out a three point win.
“It was a great game. Moycullen fought all the way. They are a side with huge tradition and they are never going to go away, even there when we went up maybe 10 or 11, they were always going to come back,” said Tralee head coach John Dowling after the game.
Moycullen hit the road next week and play Killorglin in the Killorglin Sports Complex at 7.15pm.
Moycullen Scorers: Grant Olsson 25, Joseph Tummon 16, Kyle Cunningham 14, Josh Marvesley 13, Marko Babic 5, Connor Curran 4, Niall Bree 2, Dylan Cunningham 2, James Lyons, Paul O’Brien, Rory O’Sullivan, Joe Morris