No winning joy for Galway basketball teams on opening weekend

Ulster University's Ruaidhri Milligan attempts to stop Maree's KJ Bosley in action from the Mens Superleague game at Kingfisher Sports arena on Saturday night. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy

Ulster University's Ruaidhri Milligan attempts to stop Maree's KJ Bosley in action from the Mens Superleague game at Kingfisher Sports arena on Saturday night. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy

Reigning National Cup Champions and last season’s Superleague finalists Maree will be aiming for their first win of the season when they host Garvey’s Tralee Warriors at the Kingfisher Sports Centre in the University of Galway this Saturday at 6pm.

Charlie Crowley’s charges will be keen to rebound from a disappointing one-point loss to Ulster University in their opening match last weekend.

Maree led by 16 points early in the fourth quarter, but let the lead slip from their grasp in the frantic closing stages.

Ahead 83-80 with 20 seconds on the clock, following the conversion of two free-throws by Zvonimir Cutuk, Maree were hanging by a thread.

A time-out called by Ulster University gave an opportunity for them to settle matters, but following a foul by Kyle Carey on Jalen Hodge, Ulster University had a chance to equalise.

However, Hodge converted just two of these three free-throw efforts. Another time-out from UU was called, and with 10 seconds to go Conor Liston fired the visitors ahead with a two-pointer.

There was a last-gasp effort from Ken-Jah Bosley to grab a win for Maree, but he was denied a two-pointer with a second on the clock and UU claimed an 83-84 win.

Tickets for next Saturday are available from the Maree Men's Superleague Basketball Social Media channels.

Tough opener for Maigh Cuilinn

Maigh Cuilinn host an important home fixture against Killorglin in the University of Galway Sports Arena (3pm Sunday ).

It comes after a disappointing 90-5 loss away to Tralee Warriors on the opening weekend.

Moycullen struggled to keep pace with the offensive firepower from Tralee Warriors, and although Maigh Cuilinn battled well, they were out-gunned by the home team.

Maigh Cuilinn head coach John Cunningham says it was a tough opening fixture.

“They are so tough to play down here because when they get on a run, the crowd gets into it and unless you are very careful, the scoreline just balloons out before you have a chance to stem the tide,” Cunningham says.

“We have a fair amount of new faces in this season and I think at times you could tell that we are still getting used to playing with one another, on both sides of the ball. Against a team like Tralee, in that atmosphere, you simply cannot get away with being below your best and we certainly were tonight.”

Maigh Cuilinn also gave up far too many offensive rebounds to go on the road to a place like Tralee and come away with a victory, but are now hoping a home fixture will produce a victory.

“It won’t be hard to get the lads re-focused notwithstanding a loss like this. The first home game is always a really special one and I can tell you for sure we are excited to get back playing in front of the club and our own supporters. We’ll bring plenty of energy Sunday. Hopefully we can channel it correctly and be productive,” said Cunningham.

Things did not start poorly for Maigh Cuilinn who probably looked the better of the two sides in the early exchanges. A few difficult three pointers from Tralee kept them ticking over while Maigh Cuilinn were finding scores from a nice spread of players. The scoreboard showed little gap between the teams reading 17 to 14 after the first six minutes of play.

Behind 50-30 at halftime, Maigh Cuilinn’s offensive rhythm deserted them, and although Maigh Cuilinn won the third quarter with Grant Olsson, James Connaire and Kyle Cunningham battling well throughout, in the end, it was a sound beating to a superior team.

Titans return with a bang

Titans marked their return to the National League with a tough outing against Limerick Sport Eagles, losing 80-100 in the Knocknacarra Community Centre.

Despite the loss, Titans delivered a tenacious display against the established Limerick squad, who were boosted by their two American players.

Titans produced an up-tempo opening to lead by 30-28 after the first quarter, but the visitors outscored Titans in the second by 14-22 to take the lead, and although they bounced back in the third to narrow the gap to three points, the more experienced Limerick side prevailed in the fourth.

Titans' next fixture is against Moy Tolka Rovers in Knocknacarra on Saturday (7pm ).

Maigh Cuilinn Scorers: Grant Olsson (20 ), Ivan Basic (11 ), Aitor Perez (10 ), Antonio Molina (8 ), James Connaire (7 ), Kyle Cunningham (5 ), Josiah Laracey (4 ), Liam Moloney, Dylan Cunningham, Kevin Nugent, Joseph Tummon.


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