Tralee Warriors 90 (49)
Moycullen 49 (29)
Tralee Warriors proved too much to handle for Moycullen in Kerry on Sunday as the recently crowned National Cup champions cruised to a 90 to 49 win.
Tralee are a team that can score in bunches, particularly at home when their boisterous supporters find full voice, and a start to the game that saw two of their key imports American Aaron Colixte and German Daniel Jokubaitis nail difficult three points shots under pressure gave an indication for the evening the visitors were in for.
While Moycullen started the game positively on offence themselves, Tralee were feeding from the energy off their clearly in form attack and began to translate that to more defensive intensity from mid way through the first quarter. It told as Moycullen’s scoring suffered and with Tralee continuing to dominate on the other side of the court, the home side opened up a gap to end the quarter that they were simply never to relinquish.
After the game, Tralee head coach John Dowling said that his side “never really gave Moycullen a chance to get going and we executed our game plan very well”. It was a fair summation of the game for the final three quarters for sure.
After being up 25 to 15 at the end of the first quarter, Tralee never took their feet off the pedal, winning all three remaining quarters by 10, 8 and 13 points respectively.
A key part of the Tralee success was keeping Moycullen dangerman and captain Grant Olsson under wraps. Although Olsson did manage to shake free from some very tight coverage to find seven points, it was well below the twenty point target he would usually aim for.
Aside from Ayberk Taylan who hit 17 points, no other Moycullen player managed to get to double digits. This was not for want of effort and Kyle Cunningham who had seven points and Eoghan Kelly and James Lyons who both had five, all can take plenty of positives from their individual displays.
“No doubt about it, it was a tough day for us and we never got anywhere close to playing well enough to leave with a win so full credit to Tralee who thoroughly deserved it,” said Moycullen head coach John Cunningham.
“We struggled with their physicality and they totally knocked us out of what we were trying to do on offence.”
A final scoring output of less than 50 points for Moycullen tells a lot of the story as to why they never looked like winning and the problem of finding baskets will have coach Cunningham worried ahead of a difficult trip to Cork to face Neptune on Saturday.
Neptune, Ireland’s most successful Superleague club historically, were slow out of the blocks this season but a strong run in the National Cup which saw them reach the final only to lose to Tralee, has reinvigorated their season.
They will be entering the game off the back of an impressive win in Galway last weekend when they outlasted NUIG to claim victory. The game is at 4pm Saturday in Neptune Stadium.
Moycullen Scorers: Ayberk Taylan (17), Kyle Cunningham (7), Grant Olsson (7), James Lyons (5), Eoghan Kelly (5), Joe Tummon (4), Kevin Nugent (2), Joe Morris (2), Marko Babic, Josh Marvesley, Dylan Cunningham, Niall Bree.
Categories: Men's Superleague