Garvey’s Tralee Warriors defeated Pyrobel Killester 82-64 in the Men’s Super League. Alan Cantwell reports
The Warriors led at the end of all four quarters and despite a second quarter run from the Killester when they briefly led, the defending League champions negotiated this test with a certain degree of comfort throughout.
The Warriors started well with Ivan Bogdanovic, Daniel Jokubaitis, Kieran Donaghy and Andre Berry all in range early but Killester’s point guards Isaac Westbrooks and Ciaran Roe combined for six points and midway through the quarter the hosts led by 10. The Warriors pushed on with Berry and Rap Buivydas on the mark but Westbrooks was busy for Killester and fired two more scores to add to two from Kieran O’Brien. Paul Dick then arced in a three inside the final minute but Westbrooks hit back in kind with the last action of the quarter as the Warriors led by 24-18.
Daniel Jokubaitis opened up early in the second with a score from inside and out either side of another from Bogdanovic but Tomas Fernandez and John Behan hit straight back for Killester. A number of big refereeing calls went the way of the visitors allowing them to cut the gap back to 31-27. Fergal O’Sullivan and Eoin Quigley then both checked in to edge the Warriors further ahead but a quick run from Killester through Roe, Westbrooks, Fernandez and Mark Convery saw the Dublin side take the lead for the one and only time in the game at 37-36. But the Warriors finished the half in style with two from Andre Berry, who was causing all sorts of problems for the Killester defence, and a typical three-point effort from O’Sullivan had the Warriors leading 43-37 at the long break.
The Warriors cut loose in the third and very quickly put this contest beyond Killester once Jon Lawton found his shooting touch. He opened the half with a drive to the board and followed with two identical threes to put the Warriors 51-37 up. Killester tried hard to keep in touch and John Behan, Roe, Westbrooks and O’Brien kept the lead down to 10 but when Eoin Quigley stepped back to drill a three pointer, and Darragh O’Hanlon followed with a sensational cameo of a hat trick of three pointers late in the quarter, the League champions led comfortably at 68-51 turned for home.
Rap Buivydas and Darren O’Sullivan pushed the Warriors further ahead early in the final quarter and a brief response from Killester through Roe, Convery, Fernandez and Westbrooks was short lived as threes from Quigley and Jokubaitis along with scores from Bogdanovic and Buivydas put some gloss on a very effective and efficient performance from the Warriors to see out the 82-64 win.
After another dramatic weekend of action around the country the Warriors now sit three points clear of Belfast Star who overcame Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin up north and six points clear of UCD Marian who were turned over away to DCU Saints. Everything is still very much to play for as the teams shape up for the last five games of the season.
Next up for the Warriors is a trip to the West to take on Moycullen next Saturday night at the Kingfisher Arena in NUI Galway. Following that the defending champions continue down the finishing straight of the season with three home games in a row against Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin, Maree and Abbey Seals Dublin Lions and then travel to Cork for their final Super League fixture against Coughlan C&S Neptune in mid-March. (Warriors pictures courtesy of Liam Ryan)
Keanes Supervalu Killorglin lost 77-69 at Belfast Star. Eamonn Foley reports
In Men’s Division One Scotts Lakers St Paul’s Killarney beat Ulster University 79-70.
Team Tom McCarthys St Mary’s Castleisland v NUI Galway is OFF in Women’s Division One.