REPORT: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors Return To Winning Ways

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Alan Cantwell on Garvey’s Tralee Warriors win on the road at the weekend…

Belfast Star 66

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 79

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors ended their three game losing streak with a relatively comfortable 13 point win away to Belfast Star in the Methodist College last Saturday night.

Following defeats to UCD Marian, Griffith College Swords Thunder and Black Amber Templeogue the trip to Belfast brought with it the pressure for the Warriors to return to winning ways ahead of the visit of UCC Demons to Tralee next week and a trip to Cork the following week to take on the Leesiders in the National Cup.

In a lively first quarter it was Belfast Star that opened the scoring with Keelan Cairns successful from the free throw line before Darren O’Sullivan landed a three pointer to get the Warriors on the scoreboard.

Trae Pemberton and Darragh O’Hanlon fired in a three apiece and a couple of scores from Goran Pantovic pushed the Warriors ahead but an effort from outside from Aidan Quinn for Belfast along with scores for Cairns, Clement Kulinicz and Garreth Galvin kept the hosts just three behind.

Galvin added two for Belfast before Kieran Donaghy fired in his first three of the game and when Darragh O’Hanlon followed his lead a minute later the Warriors led by 7.

Pantovic added from close range but a three from Cairns cut the Warriors lead to 24-18 at the end of the first quarter.

Cairns continued to find scores for Belfast early in the second either side of an Eoin Quigley effort but when Donaghy was in range again from outside and Pantovic converted from under the board the Warriors eased out to a nine point lead.

Back to back scores from Dominic Lyn cut the Warriors advantage before Pemberton drilled his second three of the night and Quigley added two from the free throw line.

Cairns was again on the mark for Belfast with two scores either side of two from two free throws but O’Hanlon fired in his third three of the evening to put the Warriors eight ahead.

Star’s Aidan Quinn found his range from distance but when Donaghy drove to score and Pemberton banked in a score and added the extra the Warriors took a 45-35 lead to the long break.

The Warriors enjoyed their best spell in the game during the third quarter, dominating at both end of the court and in the process outpointed their hosts by 16-8.

Darren O’Sullivan and Cairns traded scores early in the quarter and Belfast added a further two from Quinn and Kulinicz to get within six of the Warriors. Pantovic provided a steadying score for the visitors and Pemberton followed it with a trademark three.

Back to back baskets from under the board from Pantovic allied to a typical drive from Donaghy that landed the final score of the quarter saw the Warrriors advantage increase to 18. The sides headed into the final quarter with the score standing 61-43 to the Warriors.

An early barrage of scores in the final quarter for the Tralee side, two from Eoin Quigley, one from Donaghy and a big three pointer from Darren O’Sullivan, effectively put the contest beyond the hosts.

Belfast continued to battle and found the basket through Conor Quinn, Cairns, Galvin and Ruaidhri Milligan to restore some hope for the hosts.

A Pemberton three along with a Pantovic bank shot pushed the Warriors lead out to 19 but Belfast cut the winning margin to 13 with the final scores for the game from Galvin and Quinn.

The Warriors players and coaching team will be happy to have stemmed a run of reversals in the last few weeks and encouraged by the way they managed a tricky away fixture north of the border without the services of Pa McCarthy, Dusan Bogdanovic and Fergal O’Sullivan.


Belfast Star: Garrett Galvin 15, Keelan Cairns 13, Conor Quinn 12

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Trae Pemberton 19, Goran Pantovic 18, Kieran Donaghy 13

• Next up for the Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is the eagerly anticipated Super League clash with archrivals UCC Demons in the Tralee Sports Complex next Sunday afternoon. Action gets underway at the home of the Warriors at 3pm. The game comes just five days ahead of the National Cup quarterfinal showdown between the sides in the Mardyke Arena in Cork on Friday 8th December with tip off there at 8.00pm.

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