Moycullen basketballers celebrate on the double

Paul Kelly of Moycullen takes on Adam Heaphy of Neptune during the Hula Hoops Under 20 National Cup semi-final at Neptune Stadium in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.
Paul Kelly of Moycullen takes on Adam Heaphy of Neptune during the Hula Hoops Under 20 National Cup semi-final at Neptune Stadium in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.

National U20 Cup Semi Final

 Moycullen 106

 Neptune 53

By Steven Heaney

MOYCULLEN Basketball Club had a weekend to remember this weekend as first the U20 men’s team knocked out defending National Cup champions Neptune in their semi-final on Saturday, before their Superleague side bested DCU Saints in Dublin for a second consecutive away win in Ireland’s top league.

The win by the U20s gives the westerners a chance at capturing a third U20 cup title in 10 years, exactly a decade after the club won its first in 2008. Standing in their way will be a much heralded  KUBS side from Dublin who, having lost in the final 12 months ago, will be eager to go one step further this time around.

Moycullen’s performance in the semi-final will give them much hope heading into the final. They put on a performance for the ages, connecting on 14 three-pointers during the contest, and simply blowing away 2017 champions, Neptune.

The Galway side’s blistering start left the home fans stunned as Moycullen, led by early baskets from John Hackett and Paul Kelly, surged into a double-digit lead within minutes of tip off.

The ability of Moycullen players to drive to the basket before passing out to shooters on the move had the Neptune defence scrambling for the remainder of the first quarter and when the dust settled, the scoreboard read 14 to 33. The game was all but over at half time, as Moycullen led by 19 and looked capable of scoring another 50 points in the second half.

Indeed, the Galway put up a massive 106 points in the game, outscoring their rebel-county opposition by a margin of 53. All of Moycullen’s 12 players that saw court time during the game, and this will leave coach John Cunningham with a host of options come the last weekend in January and the National Cup final.

Moycullen: P Kelly 25, J Hackett 21, C Curran 19, P Lenihan 9, M Convery 9, M Brennan 6, J  Lyons 4, D Kelly 4, J Cummins 3, J Connaire 3,  D Kenna 2, A Kiernan, K Burke.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.