REPORT: Warriors Down Saints And Keep League Title Hopes On Track

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Alan Cantwell was in Castleisland as Warriors took their Superleague campaign on tour last Saturday night…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 103

DCU Saints 78

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors put the disappointment of their semi final defeat to DBS Éanna in the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup last weekend behind them in the most emphatic fashion with a 103-78 win over DCU Saints at the Castleisland Community Centre on Saturday night.

Saints opened the scoring with Graham Branelly first on the mark but the St. Vincent’s side had to look on as the Warriors quickly fired in the next 13 points from the field.

Daniel Jokubaitis arced in two threes, Jon Lawton hit another and a basket each from Kieran Donaghy and Ivan Bogdanovic saw the Warriors ease ahead.

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Mike Bonaparte, Charlie Coombes and Kevin Lacey cut the gap to three after Andre Berry opened his account. However the League champions finished the quarter in style with a hat trick of threes from Berry, Lawton and Darragh O’Hanlon to take a 31-18 to the first break.

The Warriors moved up a gear early in the second as their scores rained down on the Saints basket. Three scores from Jokubaitis, another hat trick of threes from Lawton, O’Hanlon and Rap Buivydas and when Eoin Quigley checked in the Warriors had quickly built a 25 point lead.

Saints resistance was limited to a three from Marcus Black and a score each from Branelly and team captain Conor Gilligan.

However the Warriors looked like a team on a mission with Andre Berry in particular hitting scores from both inside and out and Buivydas and Quigley chipping in a score each to see them establish a game winning 59-32 lead at the long break.

The big crowd in Castleisland was expecting some form of comeback from Saints early in the third but instead it was the Warriors that opened up to blitz the Dublin side for another 14 unanswered points.

Lawton hit back-to-back threes and Bogdanovic, Jokubaitis, Donaghy and Quigley queued up to push the advantage out to 73-32.

Saints in fairness did eventually spark into life spearheaded by Mike Bonaparte and Charlie Coombes.

Bonaparte showed his class with some excellent scores to cut the gap by 10 but the Warriors were all but out of sight and when Fergal O’Sullivan made a welcome return to hitting three pointers and when Berry and Lawton were on the mark again the sides turned for home with the Warriors leading 86-52.

Saints to their credit did not give up and early in the final quarter hit the first six scores with Bonaparte, Lacey and Stephen Ingle all in range but Darragh O’Hanlon fired in two customary threes and Donaghy and Jokubaitis kept the significant gap intact.

Lacey and Martin Neary hit a three apiece for the visitors before Rap Buivydas had the honour of hitting the 100-point mark for the Warriors with a drive to the board.

Pa McCarthy added another late on before Bonaparte stroked in another three to bring the contest to a close.

From the Warriors point of view it was particularly pleasing to win so easily without the services of both Paul Dick and Darren O’Sullivan in addition to receiving the news that Pyrobel Killester had lowered the colours of title rivals DBS Éanna in Rathfarnham.

Scorers:

Warriors – Andre Berry 19, Jon Lawton 17, Darragh O’Hanlon 16

DCU Saints – Michael Bonaparte 23, Kevin Lacey 14, Charlie Coombes 12

• Next up for the Warriors is a crucial date with Griffith College Templeogue at the Nord Anglia International School in Sandyford next Saturday night. Tip off there is at 7.00pm.

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