Tomorrow sees Moycullen duke it out for supremacy at U20 level when they take on UCD Marian in the National mens U20 Cup Final at the National basketball Arena with tip off at 11.30am.
Adrian O’Neill looks ahead
Moycullen were incredibly impressive in their semi-final win over Templeogue. Last year’s U18 champions were in ominous form led by Irish internationals James Connaire and Paul Kelly who combined for 39 points in the win. Marian had little trouble disposing of Portlaoise Panthers in their semi-final as Eoin McCann and Pairic Moran combined for an incredible 50 points.
The Moycullen team are run efficiently by Kelly and he manages to mix up their offenses well. There’s a balance between utilising James Connaire and having a more direct attack through Kelly himself. Matthew Donnellan added size and scoring off the bench in the semi-final and Moycullen’s well coached team got great contributions across the board with Tommy McNeela and James Lyons also providing scoring punch. Marian will need to find a way to contain Kelly first and then worry about the other threats after that.
On the other end, Marian are led offensively by Eoin McCann, who is in his first year with the team. McCann is no stranger to this stage having been here with Kubs in the past and he is a formidable force around the basket that Moycullen will be wary of. Surrounding McCann is the majority of the UCD U18 team with sharp shooting Pairic Moran and Irish internationals Jamies Muldowney and Luke Gilleran providing additional scoring power.
With Muldowney and McCann for Marian and Kelly and Connaire for Moycullen there is lots of Super League experience on both sides. Both clubs have won the U20 title before but Moycullen have been more dominant in recent years. Will that big day experience and longer time playing together benefit Moycullen or can UCD’s scoring prowess carry them over the line in what should be a fascinating contest. It’s certainly one not to be missed and will tip off at 11.30am on Saturday.