REPORT/PHOTOS: Title Race Hots Up As Warriors Down Cup Champs

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Alan Cantwell says the Tralee Warriors defence was immense on Saturday night as they finally beat Killester this season…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 71

Pyrobel Killester 55

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors overcame Pyrobel Killester at the third time of asking this season by 71-55 in a performance of real quality and endeavour in front of a packed out Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night.

Having lost out to Killester in the reverse fixture in November, and more significantly going down to the Dublin side in the National Cup semi final, the Warriors asserted to dominate this encounter with a much improved defensive effort and big performances from Paul Dick at point guard who top scored with 23 and Eoin Quigley who was outstanding throughout.

In a lively and entertaining opening quarter both sides settled into the contest well with early scores from Eoin Quigley, Paul Dick, Kendall Williams and Dusan Bogdanovic for Warriors matching efforts from Luis Garcia Hoyos, Ciaran Roe, Alan Casey and Royce Williams for the visitors.

Continued below…


Williams and Andy McGeever landed scores from outside with Michael Westbrooks firing in to push Killester ahead but Quigley and Paul Dick kept the Dublin side in their sights with scores to cut the gap to two.

Alex Herreros marked his introduction to the game with a three for Killester to give his side a 20-15 quarter time lead.

The Warriors effort moved up a gear both defensively and offensively in the second as the hosts hit the Cup champions for 10 points without reply.

Two from Donaghy, one from Kendall Williams and a score from play and two from the line from Paul Dick saw the Warriors go from five down to five up at 25-20.

Killester responded through Roe and Williams but a number of missed chances from free throws handed the initiative back to the Warriors.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Fergal O’Sullivan entered the fray in typical style by arcing in two big three pointers to fire up the home support and when Keith Jumper, Quigley and Paul Dick added the Warriors had outscored Killester by 24-8 in the quarter to lead 39-28 at the long break.

The Warriors maintained control of the game in the third and the tireless Eoin Quigley fired the home side further ahead with a great three followed up by a driving score by Paul Dick.

Williams and Casey kept Killester just about in touch before Williams struck again with McGeever to hit threes either side of another Fergal O’Sullivan special.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Killester were struggling to live with the Warriors relentless defensive effort and the remainder of their scores in the quarter came from free throws.

Two from Paul Dick and another from the hugely impressive Quigley saw the Warriors head down the stretch with a 58-42 lead.

Paul Dick and Quigley added again early in the final quarter helping push the Warriors advantage out to an unassailable 21.

Kieran O’Brien, Hoyos and Williams took the edge off that deficit but Quigley again was one the mark for Warriors to restore the significant advantage.

Back-to-back efforts from Keith Jumper, including a dunked effort, delighted the huge Complex crowd and the Warriors saw out the decisive win in the end.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Results elsewhere at the weekend mean that Templeogue still top the League table with 33 points and the Warriors now stand alongside UCD Marian and Belfast Star in a three-way tie for second place.

Crucially, the Warriors have two games in hand on Templeogue and a game in hand each on both Belfast and Marian.

The Warriors face both Belfast Star and Templeogue over the next three weeks and take on UCD Marian in back-to-back games at the end of March.

It is literally all to play for.

Scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Paul Dick 23, Eoin Quigley 16, Keith Jumper 7

Pyrobel Killester: Royce Williams 17, Ciaran Roe 11, Andy McGeever 9

• Next up for Warriors is the first of three remaining road trips as they face fellow title challengers Belfast Star at De La Salle College next Saturday with a tip off time of 6.30pm.

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