REPORT/PHOTOS: Demons Come Back To Haunt Warriors

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Two losses on the trot for Warriors as UCC Demons come and conquer in Tralee. Alan Cantwell reports…

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors Super League hopes suffered a setback last night as they were edged out by their keen rivals UCC Demons in front of another packed out Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night.

The Demons as always produced a performance of real quality and using just eight players, were collectively far greater than the sum of the individual parts.

The Warriors defence was under constant attack throughout the contest and Brandon Watts, Kyle Hosford and Colin O’Reilly in particular caused problems throughout for the Tralee rearguard.

Continued below…


In sharp contrast to their last few outings, the Warriors started well with Paul Dick, Keith Jumper and Eoin Quigley all in range early.

Colin O’Reilly pegged the 13-4 lead back with a three and both he and brother Niall hit two from the line to cut the lead to the minimum.

Jumper, Quigley and Kieran Donaghy restored the Warriors advantage but Demons kept in touch through Cuff and Hosford.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Paul Dick added with an extra but the Warriors lead of 7 reduced to three when Watts from the line and Girts Lazdens brought the quarter time score to 24-21.

Demons stormed into the contest early in the second with Hosford, Lazdens and Cuff all getting to the basket to see Demons take the lead.

A three from Donaghy sparked a response from the Warriors and with scores from Quigley and Jumper the Tralee went 36-29 ahead.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Back to back threes from Ryan Murphy and Lazdens left the minimum between the sides. Keith Jumper’s aerial and physical dominance delivered another three scores for the Warriors but two from Hosford kept the gap to a manageable 42-39 at the long break.

Darragh O’Hanlon and Eoin Quigley knocked down two huge threes to get the Warriors off to the best possible start in the third but Brandon Watts stunned the Tralee faithful when he landed three major scores in a row for Demons.

The Cork side then took back the lead with two from Lazdens and when O’Reilly hit two from the line and converted from close range the Leesiders suddenly were 7 up.

A typically inspirational drive from Donaghy saw him hit two from two from the line and when he backed that up to score with the last act of the quarter the Demons led 62-59 as the sides turned for home.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

The Warriors gave their loyal following something to cheer about in the opening exchanges of the final quarter with Jumper again causing havoc in the Demons defence and Paul Dick weaving his way to the basket twice to level the contest at 65 apiece.

Quigley then rocked the Complex with a huge three and it looked like the Warriors had a clearer view of the finishing line.

However with the game very much in the balance the Warriors would be left to rue a number of missed opportunities from the line down the stretch, failing to convert four out of six in the final quarter.

At the other end Demons were showing far more composure from the line and when the O’Reilly brothers knocked down four from four and Hosford added two it brought their almost perfect stats to 20 from 22 from free throws.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

After Jumper and Lazdens were both fouled out late on, Paul Dick gave the Warriors one last chance by cutting the Demons advantage to one inside the final minute.

But in the dying seconds and with the last play of the game the Warriors baseline inbound under the Demons board was turned over and Watts ran the length of the court to land the final blow to seal their 75-70 win.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Scorers Garvey’s Tralee Warriors – Keith Jumper 22 Paul Dick 20 Eoin Quigley 16

UCC Demons – Girts Lazdens 16, Kyle Hosford 15, Brandon Watts 15, Colin O’Reilly 11

• With the Cup finals taking place in Tallaght next Saturday and Sunday, the Warriors have a weekend off to prepare for the visit of DCU Saints to the Tralee Sport Complex on Saturday February 2nd.

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