NOTE – NEXT WEEK’S GAME V BELFAST STAR (30 JAN) IS AT 4PM NOT THE USUAL 3PM TIP OFF TIME
Joe Tummon was the hero as he knocked down a shot with time expiring to win this thrilling Superleague game v Killester today in NUIG Sports Arena.
Full match report below.
Watch the game back here
Moycullen 72 (39)
Killester 70 (39)
In a season full of last second heartbreakers, it was Moycullen who finally seized the day at the death, winning with a last second shot from Joe Tummon as time expired to see off Killester 72 v 70 at NUIG’s Sports Arena.
With teams level and 9 seconds remaining, Moycullen found themselves with possession and a chance to win their first home game of 2022 in front of a healthy local crowd supporting.
When Killester’s defence took away Moycullen’s first option of Grant Olsson, point guard Eoghan Kelly drove strong to the basket, drew the defence and passed out to an open and waiting Joe Tummon.
With a calm and collected delivery, Joe cooly knocked down the shot, giving Moycullen a two point lead leaving Killester with time only for one last, full court desperation heave. The visitors attempt fell well short and Moycullen players and fans were left to savour a dramatic victory to kick of 2022 in style.
“We knew we were probably looking for Grant and they all kind of dropped to him when Eoghan drove,” recounted Tummon after the game.
“I had enough time to catch and shoot and set myself, obviously delighted I hit it. I missed enough early in the game so I knew I was due one”
The win comes in a season where Moycullen have lost multiple games by a single basket, failing to execute down the stretch when the pressure came. It is for that reason that this win appeared to mean so much and led to such celebrations on the buzzer.
“It means a lot, it shows our hard work,” said Tummon.
“We know we have been better than our record all year. We have been in close games with good teams and have just been on the wrong side of them.”
Moycullen started the game like a team determined and with Kyle Cunningham and Grant Olsson finding their range early, it was the home side who jumped out to a 19 to 11 lead.
Moycullen were to hold that lead for the majority of the first quarter and at the end of the period were 25 to 16 to the good.
The second quarter saw Killester American Kason Harrell, who had scored 56 the week before against Tralee Warriors, find his rythm, the free flowing guard netting 12 in the quarter.
Moycullen also struggled at times with the relentless Killester full court pressure, resulting in a few turnovers and disrupted offence from the home side in general. All in all, the period belonged to the visitors and they deservedly found themselves right back in the contest and all level on 39 apiece at the break.
When Moycullen began the third quarter with an uncharacteristic turnover from Eoghan Kelly, who overall had another tremendous outing leading the charge for Moycullen, it looked like the tide had turned against the Galway outfit.
An increasingly potent Harrell continued to score at will while Killester’s Tomas Fernandez was becoming increasingly influential. Killester were to establish their first lead of the match, finishing the quarter up five, 52 to 57.
Beneath the surface there were good signs for Moycullen however. They were getting a good spread of contributions, Dylan Cunningham, Josh Marvesley, Joe Morris, Ayberk Taylan and Kelly all getting in on the scoring act.
Meanwhile defensively, they were keeping Irish international captain Ciaran Roe well within wraps and Killester sharp shooter Paddy Sullivan in check.
When James Lyons connected on a late three pointer in the quarter for Moycullen there was an obvious sense within the home crowd that a win could be on the cards here as Moycullen run was imminent.
The run came quick and fast and when Eoghan Kelly put together an unanswered five point run with a three and then coast to coast layup, the teams were level at 59 all with 6:30 to go.
From there to the very end, there was nothing of significance between the teams as momentum went back and forth.
A Grant Olsson freethrow with 3 minutes to go did at one stage stretch Moycullen into a 5 point lead but in truth, it always felt like this one would come down to the final plays.
A string of good scores from Killester’s Eric Westbrooks and Farouq Raheem had the Dubliners back to within two.
A missed defensive rebound on a freethrow with 14 seconds remaining resulted in a jump ball with the possession arrow pointed to Killester. A deft inbound play from the visitors gave Fernandez an easy two that he gladly grabbed to level proceedings.
It all set the stage for big Joe Tummon for Moycullen to hit the game winner from the subsequent play, sending the Moycullen supporters into a scene of wild celebrations and a home win to kick off 2022.
Moycullen are back in action in NUIG Sports Arena next weekend as they face reigning Superleague champs, Belfast Star for a 4pm Sunday tip off.