REPORT/PHOTOS: Donaghy Fires Warriors To The Top As UCD Fail Killester Test

Posted by


Alan Cantwell reports on Garvey’s Tralee Warriors win away on Saturday night…

Action from Saturday night’s game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Éanna 75

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 78

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are back on top of the table after edging out Éanna by 78-75 on a night of real drama at the head of affairs in Mens Super League.

The Warriors were brought right down to the wire by Éanna before securing their eighth League win in a row, seeing out the victory by three points in the end. Across town in Clontarf UCD Marian surrendered top spot when they suffered their second defeat in a week, going down by four points to Pyrobel Killester in an almost identical final scoreline of 79-75.

Continued below…

It sets up the meeting between the Warriors and Marian in Belfield next weekend in a shootout between the sides that have commanded the top two places on the table in recent weeks.

Action from Saturday night’s game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Darragh O’Hanlon opened the scoring for the Warriors with a three before Kieran Donaghy drove to the basket for the first two of his 25 points.

Éanna responded though Mylnue Reeves and Aidan Dunne before the Warriors took the game to the hosts with Goran Pantovic, two from Donaghy and a score form inside and out from Trae Pemberton suddenly had the visitors out to a 12 point lead.

Conor Gallagher and Tamron Manning helped bridge the gap for Éanna before Pantovic, Donaghy and a lay up each from Fergal and Darren O’Sullivan saw the Warriors lead 28-15 at quarter time.

The second quarter saw the game come to life with the sides going score for score. Aidan Dunne and Tamron Manning fired in early baskets either side of a Pemberton effort.

Action from Saturday night’s game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Neil Lynch and Eoin Quigley cancelled out each other’s two free throws before O’Hanlon and Pa McCarthy pushed the Warriors out to an 11 point lead.

Quigley followed up with a score from inside and stepped into fire a three pointer before Mylnue Reeves, Lynch, Manning and a slam dunk from Dunne saw Éanna right back in the contest.

When Lynch, Dunne and Manning hit the mark either side of two O’Hanlon scores just before the break the sides went to the interval with the Warriors leading 49-43.

Into the third quarter and after Quigley found his range it was the hosts that upped the intensity of the contest with two scores each from Manning and Dunne.

Pemberton kept the Warriors ticking over with free throws and a sensational three before Donaghy drove to score and add the extra to see the visitors lead by seven.

Action from Saturday night’s game. Photo by Liam Ryan

However Éanna wrestled the lead away from the Warriors with a relentless offensive burst with Dunne and Manning between them adding nine points to the hosts tally.

Pa McCarthy chipped in with a score to level and steady the Warriors ship before Éanna’s Aidan Dunne was issued with a technical to allow Pemberton add the resulting free throw and from the restart Donaghy outmuscled the Éanna defence to land a crucial score to see the Warriors lead 64-61 as the sides turned for home.

Conor Gallagher left just one between the sides with the opening score of the final chapter. The Warriors then looked to their big players to kickstart their run for home and Donaghy and Pemberton duly obliged to fire down two inspirational three pointers and open up a seven point lead.

Donaghy followed with a stunning basket that he finished against all the odds before careering into the back wall of the gym. Soon after Donaghy was issued with a controversial technical and Lynch shot the resulting throw for the hosts before Reeves added another from under the boards.

Reeves continued to torment the Warriors defence with another two scores to leave just two between the teams with 4 minutes on the clock. In a frantic finale to the contest Donaghy was again on the mark to see the Tralee side lead 75-71 but Reeves and Conor White fired into to level the game.

However just when it looked like Éanna would drive on to win, two defensive lapses allowed Donaghy four free shots in quick succession.

With the meeting of Pyrobel Killester and UCD Marian tipping off an hour earlier than the game in Colaiste Éanna, the news of events in Clontarf reached the court in Rathfarnham before the end of the game to add to the drama of the final minutes.

This was before Donaghy assumed responsibility to calmly land three out of four free throws, just as Trae Pemberton had done in KUBs in December, to seal the win at the death and in turn cap another terrific personal performance that sets up next week’s clash with UCD Marian perfectly.


Éanna: Aidan Dunne 25, Tamron Manning 19, Mlynue Reeves 13

Warriors: Kieran Donaghy 25, Trae Pemberton 18, Goran Pantovic 8

• Next up for the Warriors is a Super League first v second showdown with UCD Marian in Belfield next Saturday night with a bumper crowd expected for a 7.00pm tip off.

Comments are closed.