Men’s Super League 2022/2023 – Round 16

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 82

Moycullen 68

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors kept their late season winning streak going as they secured their fifth win in a row on Saturday night by overcoming Moycullen by 82-68 at the Tralee Sport Complex.

The Warriors took early control of the contest after James Connaire landed the opening score of the game for the visitors, and were never headed once Matija Jokic replied and Dre Jackson and Eoin Quigley added to quickly build and early 10-3 lead. Jokic hit a cracking three to push the Warriors ten ahead but scores from Kyle Cunningham, Grant Olssen with two and a three from Joe Tummon saw Moycullen cut the gap back to a single point. The sides were level when Olssen and Cunningham responded to Jacksons add one basket but when Quigley also produced a three point score of his own the hosts eased ahead again. Rich Dunham found a way to land a showpiece buzzer beating score to see the Warriors lead 25-20 at quarter time.

The Warriors picked up the pace and left the visitors reeling as they fired their way to a 40-23 lead midway through the second quarter. Dunham and Jokic shared the scoring with each of them hitting a hat trick of scores including a major effort from Dunham. Olssen stopped the rot for Moycullen but when Quigley added from inside and free throws, with a lead of 44-28, it looked like the Warriors could cut loose before the half time break. To their credit Moycullen keep the Warriors scoreless from then to the buzzer with Olssen, Mateo Libratore, Connaire and Dylan Cunningham on the mark they played their side right back into the game to trail by just 44-39 at the long break.

The Warriors spread the game in the third as Jokic continued to torment the Moycullen defence with a hat trick of scores and despite a reply from Olssen and a Liberatore three, Jokic added from the free throw line to put his side eight points up. Kyle Cunningham, Liberatore and Olssen combined to keep the Galway outfit in touch but a late Dunham cameo saw him hit back to back threes and another tough inside score to see the Warriors take a 63-50 lead into the final quarter.

Steven Bowler made an immediate impact off the bench to push the Warriors further ahead early in the fourth and Dunham’s three point score put fifteen between the teams. Moycullen again to their credit played their way back into contention with scores from Olssen, Connaire and Liberatore to bring the Warriors advantage down to single figures. However Bowler hit his second of the quarter after Quigley arced in from distance and despite Brian Gaffney chipping in with a score for Moycullen the Warriors finally secured the three League points with four scores in a row from Quigley, Jokic and efforts from either side of the arc from Jokubaitis. Moycullen added a touch of gloss to their final tally when Gaffney fired in identical threes as the clock counted down. There was drama before the game ended when Daniel Jokubaitis was called for a second unsportsmanlike foul in the final minute and could now face a one match sanction following two early season technical fouls against Belfast. In the end a 82-68 win ensured that the Warriors are still right in the playoff race ahead of a big home game next weekend.

Scorers: Garveys Tralee Warriors – Matija Jokic 28, Rich Dunham 21, Eoin Quigley 14

Moycullen: Grant Olssen 28, Mateo Liberatore 15, James Connaire 7, Dylan Cunningham 7

Next up for the Warriors is a home tie with Killester at the Tralee Sports Complex next Saturday night with tip off at the slightly later than usual time of 8.00pm.

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