Garveys Tralee Warriors have lost 86-82 at Pyrobel Killester in the Men’s Super League. Alan Cantwell reports
Just when they looked the more likely side to prevail, Garvey’s Tralee Warriors succumbed to a late scoring rally by Pyrobel Killester to lose out in a thrilling Super League encounter at the IWA in Clontarf on Saturday night. Having led by 11 in the final quarter, the Warriors looked set to secure another valuable win on the road, but a 16 point swing in the final six minutes saw Killester assert late on to deny the Tralee side the win.
In an evenly contested opening quarter the sides went score for score early on with Jordan Evans and Kieran Donaghy’s baskets cancelled out by efforts from Ciaran Roe, Royce Williams and Luis Garcia Hoyos. But when Evans dropped in a three, Paul Dick added two and Janis Dumburs converted from the free throw line the Warriors led 14-10. Michael Westbrookes hit back for the hosts before Williams followed up from outside. Paul Dick restored the Warriors advantage before Hoyos and a three from Alex Herreros saw Killester lead 21-18 at quarter time.
Evans struck early in the second from inside and out and when Darragh O’Hanlon and Fergal O’Sullivan caught glimpses of the basket from three point territory they pushed the Warriors ahead by three. Roe hit back from outside for Killester before Andy McGeever left the minimum between the sides. Scores from O’Hanlon and two from Evans were no match for a 13 point blitz by Killester before the half time break. Westbrookes, Hoyos, and seven points from the imposing Williams saw the hosts take a 41-36 lead to the long break.
The Warriors regrouped and came out swinging in the third. Kieran Donaghy led the way with four early points to negate Paddy Sullivan’s efforts for Killester. Paul Dick then landed his first three of the night and when O’Hanlon drilled a three from distance and Dumburs, Evans and Donaghy all scored from under the boards the Warriors were four ahead midway through the quarter. But the Warriors defence was struggling to contain the dangerous Royce Williams and he again was the talisman for Killster as he leveled the scores with his 21st point of the night. However Evans banked in two in a row and Donaghy fired in a show-stopping effort from inside his own half to beat the buzzer and see the Warriors six to the good as the sides headed down the stretch.
The Tralee side looked like they had a clearer view of the winning line when opening up an 11 point lead early in the final chapter with O’Hanlon landing the first score and Evans following in from distance. But Killester had their sizable home crowd on their feet when Hoyos with two, Williams and Kieran O’Brien all fired in to cut the lead to five. A typical Fergal O’Sullivan three briefly gave the Warriors back the edge but Hoyos, Williams and O’Brien reduced the advantage to three. Donaghy fired in a stunning three to double the Warriors lead but Killester launched a match winning scoring streak from Hoyos, Williams, Alan Casey and two big threes from McGeever turned a six-point deficit into a six point lead. Darren O’Sullivan stopped the rot for the Warriors with his first of the night but the Tralee side was now in foul trouble and all their indiscipline ended up with Killester free throws on their line. Kieran O’Brien scored and added an extra before Roe was unerring with two from two. Despite a late three from Evans and another score from Paul Dick, it was left to the outstanding Williams to deliver the final blow in the battle as he fired in from the line to secure the 86-82 win for Killester.
Top scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Jordan Evans 26, Kieran Donaghy 17, Darragh O’Hanlon 14
Pyrobel Killester: Royce Williams 29, Luis Garcia Hoyos 20, Andy McGeever 8
Next up for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is a chance to get back to winning ways when they face the in-form Belfast Star at the Tralee Sports Complex next Saturday night. Tip off is 7.30pm.
(report by Alan Cantwell)
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