PHOTOS/REPORT: Warriors Edged Out In Opening Night Thriller

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Alan Cantwell on a disappointing Men’s Superleague season opener for Tralee Warriors at Tralee Sports Complex…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 72

UCD Marian 73

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

For the fourth season in a row Garvey’s Tralee Warriors have opened their Super League campaign with a defeat as they succumbed to rivals UCD Marian by 73-72 at the Tralee Sport Complex last night.

Despite taking control of the game in the second quarter to lead by 13 points at the break the Warriors were hit with a stunning offensive display by the visitors in the third quarter.

Marian outscored the hosts by 26-9 to reignite the contest and leave it all to play for in the final quarter.

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The opening exchanges saw both sides rewarded with scores from Paul Dick, Jonathan Lawton and Darragh O’Hanlon matching efforts from Mike Garrow and Barry Drumm before an Aidan Dunne effort edged the visitors ahead.

Lawton then fired the Warriors back into the lead with a score from inside and followed that up with three and when Keith Jumper stormed into the contest with two inspirational baskets either side of a fine effort from Rap Buivydas the Warriors eased ahead.

Jumper was again on hand to slam in a dunk late on to help the Warriors lead 20-14 at the end of the first.

The Warriors seized the initiative early in the second with Daniel Jokubaitis firing in a three and when Lawton got to the board for two the hosts suddenly led by 10.

However at the other end Neil Baynes was getting to the Warriors board with some ease for Marian and added a couple before Drumm floated in another.

The Warriors responded well through Lawton with two, Keith Jumper with two and Rap Buivydas with another the home side were 14 points up approaching the half time break.

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

Scott Kinevane edged the visitors closer before Eoin Quigley knocked down a superb three to see the Warriors head for the long break with a decisive 43-30 lead.

The third quarter saw a total momentum shift from the hosts to the visitors with Neil Baynes in devastating form the Warriors half time advantage was wiped out by the midway point in the quarter.

Baynes, Garrow and Kinevane all got in on the scoring act and the Warriors simply could not find their scoring touch.

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The Warriors woes were compounded with a body blow when their point guard Jonathan Lawton was forced out of the game with an ankle injury received when shaping for a lay up from a fast break. UCD Marian drove on and with Garrow, Baynes and Cathal Finn on the mark the Dublin side were 56-52 up at three quarter time.

Jumper and Bogdanovic were in range early in the final quarter in response to a score from Drumm and a three from Garrow.

Jokubaitis and Paul Dick both hit the mark to edge the Warriors 65-61 ahead at the midway point.

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

However an Aidan Dunne three followed by a couple under the board from Garrow and Kinevane saw Marian take a 70-65 lead with three minutes on the clock.

Jumper and Bogdanovic combined to get the Warriors back to within a point and the Warriors fans were on their feet when two free throws from Paul Dick put them 71-70 in the shadows of the winning post.

But just when the home side thought they might see out the win a foul on Scott Kinevane saw Barry Drumm deputise and land one from the free throw line before gathering another possession to fire in what proved to be the decisive score.

Paul Dick had a chance to force the game into over time but landed just one from two with two seconds on the clock to leave the final score Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 72 UCD Marian 73.

Scorers: Warriors: Keith Jumper 18 Daniel Jokubaitis 11 Ivan Bogdanovic11

UCD Marian: Mike Garrow 19 Neil Baynes 16 Barry Drumm 14

• Next up for the Warriors is the visit of Belfast Star to the Tralee Sports Complex next Saturday night – tip off is 7.30pm.

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