PHOTOS/REPORT: Warriors Secure Vital Win As Title Race Heats Up

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Alan Cantwell on an important win for the Warriors in the race for the Men’s Superleague Title…

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 88

Templeogue 77

Warriors produced a performance of quality, intensity and grim determination to get the better of archrivals Templeogue by 88-77 in a pulsating encounter at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night.

The game more than lived up to the unprecedented anticipation and hype that preceded it and the sellout crowd was treated to a genuine Super League thriller.

The priceless three points keep Pat Price’s charges on track for a first Super League title with four games remaining on their schedule. The Warriors now are the only side in contention for League glory that have full control of their destiny.

Continued below…


Both sides stormed into the contest with Jason Killeen twice getting to the Warriors board early on with Paul Dick replying in kind for the hosts.

Eoin Quigley continued his run of outstanding form by dropping in the first three of the night and when Kieran Donaghy tapped in a rebound the Warriors led 9-7. But Templeogue began to stretch the resolute Warriors defence with Dee Proby, Lorcan Murphy and Killeen adding to a Neil Randolph three to push Templeogue out to a 7-point lead.

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

Kendall Williams and Fergal O’Sullivan had the Warriors faithful on their feet as they fired in spectacularly from distance either side of another major score from Randolph. The sides traded scores late on through Dick and Donaghy and Murphy and Proby and at quarter time the visitors led 26-22.

The Warriors powered back in front early in the second with Quigley hitting another three. Dusan Bogdanovic was on the mark from close range before Keith Jumper opened his account with a signature dunk.

Templeogue edged back ahead again when player coach Puff Summers found open space to knock down back to back threes and when Stephen James followed his lead and Randolph dropped in his third three of the night, the Dublin side took their advantage out to 9.

The Warriors were then dealt a potentially devastating blow when Paul Dick rolled his ankle in the act of getting to the board and limped out of the contest midway through the quarter.

However the home side responded impressively by shutting down the Templeogue offence for the remainder of the half while scores from Donaghy, Bogdanovic and captain Darren O’Sullivan at the other end cut the gap to three.

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

Fergal O’Sullivan then channeled all the Warriors momentum into producing two stunning scores from outside the arc, one better than the next, that had the Complex rocking as the home side took a 47-44 lead to the long break.

The pace was frantic, at times frenetic, and both sides understandably took the intensity level down a notch early in the third.

Williams hit two from two from the line for the Warriors early on and when Bogdanovic got to the board and Darren O’Sullivan drove for an inspirational score the temperature was turned back up to boiling point.

Murphy replied in high flying style for Templeogue before the flamboyant Williams delighted the packed house with a three from a squat position before franking the score with a fast break lay up.

Donaghy then stepped back from the line to drill another three and the Tralee side were suddenly 10 ahead. James and Summers stemmed the flow momentarily before Quigley from under the board and Williams from over the ring restored the advantage.

Action from the game. Photo: Liam Ryan

Fergal O’Sullivan again produced a couple of box office moments as he arced in a three and followed that with a steal to lay up for a timely five point haul. As the sides straightened up for home the Warriors had pushed their lead out to 70-56.

Darren O’Sullivan was again on the mark to provide the Warriors with more comfort early in the final quarter.

However just as the Warriors fans began to believe that their heroes could make it three wins from three against their great rivals, a quick fire ten-point barrage from Templeogue ensured that the finale to this epic contest would go all the way down the stretch.

Two from Murphy and one each from Killeen, Proby and Randolph stunned the Warriors faithful as the apparently unassailable 18 point lead was cut to just six.

Pat Price called an urgent time out to reshuffle his deck and Paul Dick reentered the fray and was joined by Darragh O’Hanlon who heralded his arrival with a stunning effort from three-point territory.

Players from both sides then got up close and personal before the officials quickly dealt with the brief skirmish. The Warriors reacted better to the drama and Quigley capped another brilliant personal display to drill a three from a yard outside the arc to push the Warriors lead out to double figures.

Templeogue’s task then got even more difficult when last season’s Player of the Year, Dee Proby hobbled out of the game before Dick, Jumper and Quigley eased the Warriors nerves with three scores in a row.

A typical fade away jumpshot from Killeen and a three from Summers for Templeogue kept the Warriors honest late on. Following his fifth foul the peerless Kieran Donaghy was forced to watch the last two minutes of the contest from the bench.

However he was quickly back on his feet along with the capacity crowd to applaud the Warriors final score, a remarkable Keith Jumper effort from an impossible position. James and Summers put some respectability on the final 88-77 scoreline with two late scores. It was all too little all too late and for the third time this season Templeogue succumbed to the better side.


Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Paul Dick 15, Fergal O’Sullivan 14, Kendall Williams 14

Templeogue: Jason Killeen 18, Puff Summers 15, Lorcan Murphy 13

• Next up for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in a relentless end of season schedule is another home fixture when they take on C&S Neptune at the Tralee Sports Complex on Friday night. Please note that tip off for this game is at 8.15pm.

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