Youthful Moycullen produce heartening performance in falling to league championsOctober 19, 2012 - 7:00am
UL Eagles 78
THE defending cup and league champions UL Eagles proved too much for a young Moycullen side on Saturday night in Limerick as the Galway outfit lost by 16 points
For the second consecutive week, player-coach Salva Camps was forced to game plan for a tough away fixture without his own name or that of Cian Nihill’s in the line-up.
While Camps can take some solace in noting that that situation is set to change for this weekend’s home tie with Neptune, it did little to boost confidence ahead of last Saturday’s fixture against the pre-season favourites to repeat last year’s exploits, Eagles.
Credit to the Moycullen squad that travelled, however, as despite being littered with U20 players, they never let Eagles relax and remained within striking distance for much of the game. Little separated the teams after seven minutes with particularly fine play from Moycullen’s American player Pat Sullivan, who led all scorers in the game with 24 points.
But Eagles’ size and depth did eventually tell and they entered the half time break up 13. Having disposed of rivals and previous champions Killester by 25 points the weekend before, Eagles came out confident for the second half, which showed in their excellent shooting early on.
This helped them maintain their advantage despite spirited performances from the O’Brien brothers, Paul and Stephen who ended the game with ten and seven points respectively.
Moycullen found the task of marshalling 6ft 10inch centre Jason Killeen particularly difficult and were unable to stop him en route to recording a double double of ten rebounds and 16 points in the contest.
“Limerick are a bit further in their development compared to us right now,” said Moycullen coach Camps after the game.
“We have a lot of young players and Limerick played physical, they pushed us everywhere. Our players need to get used to this. They have been very good very quickly, but can be better the more they play and experience at this level.”
With Nihill certain to return this weekend, and Camps also likely to be involved, Moycullen can build on the excellent performances from their young players over the past two weeks and enter Saturday’s game against Neptune at 3.45 in NUIG with genuine aspirations of a home win.
Neptune, like Moycullen, have suffered losses in their first three home games. One would be foolish to read too much into their record, however, as two of those losses have come courtesy of a last second basket, losing to UL Eagles and UCC Demons by one and two points respectively.
Their other loss was a respectable six point defeat to UCD Marian away from home.
“Neptune are a good team. They can score a lot of points and they are very fast up and down the court. If we can slow them down, we have a very good chance because I think we will be able to score on them as well, so Saturday should be a close game,” said Camps.
Moycullen: P. Sullivan 24, P. O’Brien 10, S. O’Brien 7, I. Burke 6, S. Candon 5, J. O’Brien 4, P. Lyons 2, N. Cunningham 2, S. Tummon 2, D. Costello.