REPORT/PHOTOS: Warriors Falter At Home As Star Remain On Top

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Alan Cantwell reports on the Men’s Super League Round 6 game where Warriors went down to table-toppers Belfast Star…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 79

Belfast Star 89

Action from the Tralee Warriors v Belfast Star game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors suffered their second defeat at home this season when they were outgunned 89-79 by Belfast Star in front of a full house at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night.

The game ebbed and flowed throughout particularly in the first three quarters with the lead changing hands on a number of occasions.

But for the second week running it is a case of what might have been for the Warriors as they led by eight on two occasions late in the third and seemed the more likely side to make their run for home.

Continued below…


But the League leaders asserted with three game changing three pointers to finish the third quarter strongly and drove on to victory in the fourth.

In an entertaining opening quarter both sides found their way to the boards with some ease and Janis Dumburs and Sergio Vidal Baldovi swapped two early efforts.

Jordan Evans and Darrah O’Hanlon opened their accounts before Star’s American Mike Davis found the target from distance and when Sergio added two the Belfast side led by three.

Action from the Tralee Warriors v Belfast Star game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Back to back score from Kieran Donaghy restored the lead for the Warriors before Eoin Quigley and Evans pushed the advantage out to six.

But Mike Thiep from the line and a three from Sergio saw the Warriors lead cut to 22-21 at quarter time.

Two threes from Conor Quinn and another from Sergio shook the Warriors early in the second but the home side responded in fine style with Evans, Dusan Bogdanovic and Paul Dick all helping to restore their lead.

Fergal O’Sullivan produced his weekly three-point salvo firing in two big scores either side of another from inside by Dumburs to put six between the sides.

But Davis replied from inside and out for Star and despite another O’Hanlon effort for the Warriors the visitors fired in scores from Mark Berlic and Paddy McGaharan before the very impressive 16-year old Belfast point guard CJ Fulton gave an example of his renowned three point shooting with major score to see Star lead 46-44 at the long break.

Action from the Tralee Warriors v Belfast Star game. Photo by Liam Ryan

The third chapter of this drama saw the Warriors and their loyal following enjoy their best spell in the game and in addition to finding scores easier to come by, they limited the visitors to just three scores by the midway point.

Dumburs with three and one from Donaghy negated efforts from Berlic, David and a three from Sergio.

But an eleven point scoring raid by the Warriors with two from Paul Dick, one from Evans and a score from inside and outside the arc from O’Sullivan saw the Warriors nine to the good and dominating the exchanges.

But Belfast are League leaders for a reason and they launched a triple three point attack on the Warriors net with two from Davis and another from Berlic in addition to two from the line by McGaharan saw Star wrestle the lead back and go 66-63 up going into the fourth.

Action from the Tralee Warriors v Belfast Star game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Star built on their late momentum swing from the end of the third and Berlic launched two huge threes early in the final quarter to push the Belfast advantage out to nine.

The Warriors cut the gap to two through Evans and Paul Dick before Matthew Jackson, Davis and Berlic put ten between the teams with four minutes left in the contest. However Star’s indiscipline was now beginning to threaten their chances of seeing out the win.

But when offered a number of chances the Warriors failed to capitalise and a return of just four from eleven free throws pointed clearly to one of the reasons for the defeat.

Davis and Donaghy both reached their five foul allowance late in the quarter and when Paul Dick scored under the board the gap was down to a manageable three.

But fouls late on from the Warriors allowed Sergio, Berlic and Quinn go to the line and a five from six return was enough to see Belfast consolidate their position at the head of affairs in Super League with a 89-79 win in the end.

Top scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Jordan Evans 21, Janis Dumburs 15, Paul Dick 13

Belfast Star: Sergio Vidal Baldovi 25, Mike Davis 24, Mark Berlic 15

• Next up for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is a trip to Oranmore in Galway to face Maree who have made an impressive start to the campaign with wins against UCD Marian and UCC Demons. Tip off in Calasantius College is 8.00pm.

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