REPORT: Warriors Finally Banish Demons On Leeside

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Alan Cantwell reports from last night’s Men’s Super League 2018/2019 – Round 2 game between Tralee Warriors v UCC Blue Demons  game in Cork…

UCC Demons 75

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 84

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors finally laid their Leeside demons to rest by overcoming their keen Cork based rivals in an entertaining Super League duel in the Mardyke Arena on Friday night.

The Warriors held the upper hand throughout but despite leading at the end of all four quarters had to battle all the way to prevail by nine points in the end.

The home side were quickest into gear with Girts Lazdans, Colin O’Reilly and Kyle Hosford on the mark to give the Demons an early 6-0 lead. Eoin Quigley got Warriors on the board but a Hosford three helped push the Demons lead out to 11-2.

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Warriors then found their rhythm and range with Darragh O’Hanlon launching two huge threes and when Paul Dick followed up with another the visitors wrestled the lead back. Kieran Donaghy got to the Demons board to score before O’Hanlon’s accuracy from inside and out more than offset an O’Reilly three for Demons and Warriors led 21-19 at quarter time.

Dusan Bogdanovic opened his account with a double early in the second and when Paul Dick and Jordan Evans drilled two huge threes and Evans hit two from the line the Warriors cut loose to lead by 9. Hosford, Carlton Cuff and O’Reilly reduced the deficit to four before Quigley bossed the Demons defence to land from close range.

Brandon Watts and Hosford then both converted before baskets from Cuff and O’Reilly brought the home side right back into the contest. Another outstanding long distance effort from the unerring O’Hanlon provided the three points that Warriors led by at half time – 40 to 37.

A hugely entertaining third quarter saw the Warriors increase their lead with Darragh O’Hanlon’s hot streak continuing as he yet again hit nothing but net from outside. Jordan Evans followed suit and when Quigley produced two stunning back-to-back scores the Warriors advantage was out to 10.

Hosford, O’Reilly and Cuff edged the Cork side closer but the Warriors sensed their time to finally win at the home of the Demons might have arrived when scores from Evans, efforts from inside and out by Paul Dick and a fine team play finished off by Donaghy maintained the visitors lead.

A three from Watts and a lay up from Cuff were cancelled out by scores from Paul Dick and Bogdanovic and the Warriors took a 66-60 advantage into the final quarter.

In a breathless and at times chaotic final quarter Demons matched the Warriors score for score early in the fourth.

O’Hanlon continued to torment his old club with another score and Janis Dumburs followed that with a big three but Hosford replied in kind and when Cuff and Watts also in range the gap remained at 6.

Donaghy then produced a couple of hugely influential minutes to score at one end and show all his defensive experience to reject the advances of both Watts and Cuff under the board.

He immediately produced another typical drive to score but when Carlton Cuff converted two from the line it left just four between the sides with the winning post in view. However O’Hanlon yet again hit the mark and when Donaghy calmly drained two free throws the Warriors were ready to celebrate a memorable win.

Quigley capped an outstanding personal performance with two free throws of his own in the final seconds to seal the deal. After last weeks surprise defeat to Killorglin this result gets the Warriors Super League campaign right back on track.

Top scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Darragh O’Hanlon 18, Paul Dick 17, Jordan Evans 15

UCC Demons: Kyle Hosford 22, Carlton Cuff 18, Brandon Watts and Colin O’Reilly 15 each

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