Moycullen 82 (37)
DBS Éanna 84 (54)
A storming comeback from Moycullen fell just short when they reduced a 21 point second half deficit to a single score in the final minutes. In the end, what would have been the tying score bounced just off target and DBS Éanna left Galway with an 82 to 84 point victory.
It is the third time in five games that Moycullen have fallen to defeat by a margin of a single basket and coach John Cunningham must be wondering when his side are going to get the rub of the green in a tight finish.
“Next week hopefully,” said a stubbornly optimistic Cunnigham after the final whistle.
“Similar to all of our games this season, we have had some brilliant periods of play and gone toe to toe with the best teams. We just need to recognise when and how opponents are getting runs on us during those other periods. Their shooters got free too easily too often today when they made their run and if we had curtailed that, maybe this game is a win for us.”
Indeed, the sluggish start from Moycullen, where they allowed DBS Éanna’s sharpshooters Setfan Zecevic and Neil Lynch excessive space to connect on early three pointers, ultimately left the Galway side a mountain to climb that proved that little bit too steep.
Éanna led 7 points to 14 almost before the home crowd had chance to draw breath. By the end of the first quarter it was 16 to 31 and Moycullen were staring a blowout in the face against a team brimming with confidence and riding high atop the Northern Conference of the Superleague.
If a comeback was to happen, the second quarter scoreboard didn’t show signs of it. Despite Moycullen’s increased intensity, they could never manage enough defensive stops on successive possessions to claw DBS Éanna back in.
Good scores from Grant Olsson, Josh Marvesely and Niall Bree for Moycullen were not capitalised on as DBS Éanna continued to flow offensively with American Devin Gilmore in particular impressing.
Not a squad to throw in the towel, Moycullen never dropped energy levels despite an ominous 37 to 54 half time deficit, and it was evident for all present that the home side were going to throw everything at the contest for the remainder of the game.
Perhaps DBS Éanna sensed the impetus too and for a period during the third quarter, the pace and physicality picked up to ferocious levels with the score fluctuating somewhat, DBS Éanna stretching the lead at one stage to 21, Moycullen getting it back to 13 at others.
What Moycullen had done in the third quarter however (which ended with the Galway outfit trailing 58 – 75) was break the DBS Éanna attacking rhythm. The aggressive and relentless defence of Moycullen appeared to finally be taking its toll on their visitors from Dublin, who were to finish the game out of sorts compared to the free flowing style on show in the first quarter.
Sprinklings of hope for a miraculous comeback were certainly coming to the fore as the fourth quarter took shape. Recent Moycullen signing, Turkish born Ayberk Taylan, became an increasing force and his steadying hand and long range accuracy had Moycullen back to within 8 half way through the final period.
From there to the end, the game had all the signs of unstoppable momentum taking a surging home team over the line. Huge three pointers from Taylan and Olsson had the Moycullen faithful roaring and the NUIG Sports Arena shaking as the Galway team got within 2 points in the final minutes.
While the teams would trade baskets and missed opportunities between then and the final sequence, Moycullen ultimately came up with an Olsson three pointer and a defensive stop in the last 30 seconds to give them possession of the ball for a final attempt with 11 seconds left and trailing by only two.
A carving drive to the basket by Eoghan Kelly resulted in a crisp pass to Josh Marvesley who expertly side stepped an on rushing defender to create enough space for an excellent mid-range jump shot that barely missed as the final buzzer sounded.
It was a cruel conclusion to a thrilling game and Moycullen must now look to the road and an away match up against DCU Saints on Saturday in Dublin for a first win.
The lads were scheduled to be on the road DCU St Vincents in Dublin for Saturday 20 November but the game has provisionally been refixed for Saturday 27 November. The next home game is 19 December in Coláiste Baile Chláir in Claregalway. Full list of Fixtures and Results available here.
Thanks to all our wonderful supporters who came in to the game and very nearly got the guys over the line. So close!