REPORT: Warriors Star Struck As They Come Up Short In The North

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Alan Cantwell on a disappointing trip up north for Warriors at the weekend…

Belfast Star 84

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 81

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors suffered their fourth defeat of the Super League campaign on Saturday night after being edged out by 84-81 by Belfast Star in the De La Salle Hall.

Star have now joined the Warriors on top of the Super League table and DBS Éanna made it a three way tie after taking all three points off Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin.

New recruit Andre Berry opened his and the Warriors account before Daniel Jokubaitis and Kieran Donaghy were also in range early.

CJ Fulton then checked in for Belfast before Keelan Cairns delivered a three to bring the hosts back on terms.

Continued below…


Aidan Quinn then clicked into gear for Star by adding four scores in a row but a Jokubaitis drove in for a score and added the extra to cut the gap to 3. Delaney Blaylock then caught sight of the basket for the first time on the night and Belfast led 18-13 at the end of the first.

Keelan Cairns and CJ Fulton fired Star further ahead early in the second with a three apiece but Jon Lawton replied with a typical effort from distance and Eoin Quigley also was in range to keep the Warriors in touch.

Quigley followed that with a cracking three and when Lawton took full value for a foul outside he calmly added three from the line to cut the advantage to just 3.

However Blaylock and Quinn were asking serious questions of the Warriors defence and the pair struck from inside and outside respectively to put 8 between the sides.

The Warriors response was immediate with two from Ivan Bogdanovic, one each from Paul Dick, Berry and Quigley and a three from Rap Buivydas to wrestle back the lead.

But with Fulton and Cairns unerring with five from the line and a score from their captain Conor Johnston Belfast edged back in front. Paul Dick danced his way to the basket on the half time buzzer to leave the minimum between the teams, 41-40 to Belfast.

The Warriors seized the early initiative in the third kickstarted by a three and a score from inside from Jokubaitis and another from Paul Dick.

Cairns and Blaylock kept the Warriors within reach but Andre Berry then opened up to hit Star for seven points and give the League champions a six point lead.

However a dramatic and ultimately decisive scoring blitz from the hosts turned the tide completely as Blaylock, who was impressive throughout, fired down two big threes either side of two trademark efforts from distance from Fulton and Belfast were suddenly 7 up.

The Warriors then lost Daniel Jokubaitis to a second technical infringement but again hit back with scores Bogdanovic and Quigley.

However Aidan Quinn stepped into position for his second three of the night and Star took a 4 point advantage 64-60 into the final quarter.

The Warriors regrouped and rebooted to fire their way back into the lead at the start of the fourth. Quigley, Paul Dick, Lawton and Buivydas were all in range but Quinn who was a constant threat hit back to back efforts to leave a single score between the sides.

Star then hit the Warriors for three killers scores with a three each from Blaylock and Johnston and other from Blaylock from an inside jump shot to put the hosts 5  up.

Bogdanovic immediately hit back and Kieran Donaghy levelled the game with an absolutely stunning three point score.

With Belfast in foul trouble, it looked like the way was clear for the Warriors to push for victory, but in a chaotic end to the game they handed the initiative back to the hosts with some indiscipline after Cairns had hit another huge three.

Aidan Quinn coolly fired in the winning baskets from the free throw line and Johnston made sure with one from two to give Belfast Star an 84-81 win at the final buzzer


Warriors: Jon Lawton 16, Eoin Quigley 14, Andre Berry 11

Belfast Star: Aidan Quinn 24, Delaney Blaylock 19, Keelan Cairns 17

• Next up for the Warriors is a well earned Christmas break before they await the visit of DBS Éanna to the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday 4th January in another top of the table showdown.

One week later they will face the same opposition in the semi final of the Cup at Neptune Stadium in Cork with the winners progressing to the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup Final on Saturday 25th January to face either Griffith College Templeogue or Coughlan C&S Neptune.

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