REPORT/PHOTOS: Warriors Fight Off Lions To Stay Top Of League

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Alan Cantwell saw Garvey’s Tralee Warriors come back to win on the road on Saturday evening…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 76

Abbey Seals Dublin Lions 70

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors maintained their position at the top of the Super League after a hard fought win away to Abbey Seals Dublin Lions in a pulsating and at times thrilling encounter in Colaiste Bride in Clondalkin last Saturday night.

The Warriors were made fight every inch of the way after the Lions had dominated proceedings early in the contest and led at the end of the first, second and third quarters before succumbing to a sustained and relentless comeback by the reigning champions.

The Lions simply bolted out of the blocks with Conrad Baltimore, James Gormley, Romonn Nelson and Finn Hughes firing the hosts into a 10-1 lead.

Continued below…


Eoin Quigley and Jonathan Lawton briefly halted the early onslaught but with Gormley causing havoc under the Warriors board and Hughes stepping impressively into space to hit a hat trick quality three pointers the Lions suddenly were 29-10 up.

A handful of free throws from Keith Jumper and Ivan Bogdanovic made little impression on the significant lead and when Hughes had the final say on the buzzer with another score the Lions led 31-13 at the end of the first.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

The Lions continued to dominate the exchanges early in the second with Gormley and Nelson stretching the lead out to 22.

The Warriors were being outplayed all over the court and badly needed a spark to get them back into the contest. The Warriors defence was beginning to get to grips with the Lions shooters and the scores started to dry up for the hosts.

A stunning barrage of three point efforts that dramatically turned the tide back in the Warriors favour and two threes from Lawton, two from Quigley and one from Paul Dick decisively cut the Lions advantage to just 43-37 at the long break.

The Warriors still had work to do to bridge the hosts advantage and again saw the best route to do that was by shooting from distance.

A quick fire hat trick of threes from Lawton either side of another from Hughes put the Warriors ahead for the very first time in the game.

Action from the game. Photo by Liam Ryan

Just when it looked like the initiative was back in the visitors hands the Lions embarked on a breathless run of 11 unanswered points bookended by a Jack Maguire score from inside and another superb three from the impressive Finn Hughes.

As the sides turned down the stretch the gap from the Warriors point of view looked daunting as they trailed 61-51.

The Warriors were getting nothing easy from the Lions and had to really graft and dig for every ball. The visitors hit the hosts for three quick scores early in the fourth through Daniel Jokubaitis, Paul Dick and Rap Buivydas and the gap was down to 4.

Paul Dick then delivered a brilliant three to leave just the minimum between the sides. However the Lions sensed their opportunity to secure their first League win of the season when Baltimore and Nelson pushed the lead back out to 5.

With the outcome on a knife-edge again it needed someone to seize the moment and again it was Eoin Quigley who ignited a late rally by the Warriors with another typical drive to the basket.

Paul Dick followed Quigley’s lead twice in succession and Lawton hit 3 from 4 from the line and in an instant the Warriors led by 5.

Baltimore landed and huge score for the Lions and added the extra to cut the lead to 2 but Paul Dick who was impressive throughout stepped into drill a killer three pointer to seal the deal and secure the vital win that keeps their League title ambitions on track.

Scorers: Jonathan  Lawton 26, Paul Dick 20, Eoin Quigley 14

Lions: Finn Hughes 21, James Gormley 16, Conrad Baltimore 15

• Next up for the Warriors is the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup Quarter Final showdown with the team that knocked the Warriors out at the semi final stage last year, Pyrobel Killester.

It is the meeting of the reigning League and Cup champions and promises to be an absolute thriller. Tip off at the Tralee Sport Complex is at the slightly later time than usual at 8.00pm.

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