Templeogue 71 (38)
Moycullen 68 (29)
Nord Anglia, Dublin
It was heartbreak at the death once more for Moycullen as they came up just short in Saturday’s Superleague clash in Dublin against Templeogue, losing 71 to 68.
When Moycullen’s Eoghan Kelly went coast to coast to score and put the men from Galway up by a point with under two minutes remaining, a second straight win on the road in the capital looked on.
The experience of Templeogue, at home, was to prove decisive however as they managed the closing possessions with a cool confidence a team gains from years of success in recent memory. The Dubliners got the last four points of the game and survived a final Moycullen attack that ended in a three point shot falling short.
Welcoming back their two professional players in American Grant Olsson and Turkish born Ayberk Taylan, Moycullen entered the contest optimistic of securing back to back wins for the first time this season.
As has been consistent this year, Moycullen established a defensive superiority early, holding a usually high scoring Templeogue to just 15 first quarter points. However, Moycullen once again struggled to convert good chances on offence and, aside from some excellent shooting by big Joe Tummon and Olsson, started cold. At the end of the first they had just 14 points themselves and trailed by a point.
The game did open up somewhat in the second quarter and Irish international Lorcan Murphy in particular came to the fore for Templeogue, scoring eight points in the period as he helped his team to a 38 point halftime mark and a nine point lead.
The advantage on the scoreboard at the break masked the true nature of what was a very tight game however. Moycullen were creating plenty of chances but simply failing to convert. Moycullen head coach John Cunningham must have been delighted with how his team’s defence was holding up and confident they would start to reap more from attacks..
Three pointers from Taylan, Kyle and Dylan Cunningam in the third period were the injection of confidence needed with Moycullen winning the quarter and getting back to within five points entering the last.
The momentum was now firmly with the visitors and further good shooting from Kyle Cunningham and Olsson had Moycullen within touching distance and a welcome upset very much on the cards.
It was Taylan’s three pointer that drew Moycullen to within a point before some good defence by Eoghan Kelly on former Moycullen player Puff Summers forced the miss. Kelly went coast to coast from the subsequent rebound, scoring and putting Moycullen up by one.
Unfortunately, it was to be Moycullen’s last basket of the game.
A good defence forced a jump ball but with the possession arrow in favour of Templeogue they had the inbound, called a timeout and brilliantly ran a set play for an easy two for Templeogues Spanish import Enrique Melini.
A lacklustre Moycullen attack ended in a blocked shot and Templeogue recovering the ball. While good defensive pressure then by Moycullen looked to have forced an eight second back court violation, a foul was adjudged to have been committed by the visitors and Puff Summers coolly slotted both free throws for Templeogue.
With the home team up 3, Moyucllen had one last chance but failed to create any clear cut shot. In the end, it was up to Olsson to grab the ball and force up a last second prayer under intense pressure. The ball fell short as the buzzer sounded and unfortunately it marked another heartbreaking narrow loss for this Moycullen team.
They will surely take great heart however from the overall performance and look forward to finally being back home for a gme Sunday at 3pm when they play Killester in NUI Sports Arena at 3pm.
Moycullen Scorers: Grant Olsson (22), Kyle Cunningham (15), Ayberk Taylan (11), Joe Tummon (8), Eoghan Kelly (5),Josh Marvesley (3), Dylan Cunningham (3), Niall Bree (1), James Lyons, Kevin Nugent, Marko Babic