Seventh heaven for Maree as Warriors playoff hopes fade 

InsureMyVan.ie Men’s Super League 2022/2023 – Round 8

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 72

University of Galway Maree 80

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors hopes of making the Super League play-offs hang in the balance after defeat to League leaders University of Galway Maree at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night leaves them in danger of losing touch with the contenders for the all-important top four playoff places. It was a much improved performance from the Warriors relative to previous weeks and they led right until the final minutes of the game. However a late Maree run reeled the Warriors in with a 28-13 last quarter to maintain top of the South Conference with their seventh win in the League.

It was a cracking contest from tipoff with Maree firing their way into an early lead with Joe Junior Mvuezolo, Jarett Haines, Eoghan Rockall and Zvonimir Cutuk all in range with the Warriors replied in kind through Daniel Jokubaitis, Kieran Donaghy, Matija Jokic and Dre Jackson and when Donaghy added another brace and Jackson slalomed his way to the board the hosts led 15-12. Jackson continued to cause his former teammates problems with another couple of scores but back to back threes from Rodrigo Gomez and two floated efforts from Haines edged Maree 22-21 ahead at quarter time.

Donaghy was on the mark again early in the second and when Eoin Quigley opened his account the Warriors pushed ahead but Maree’s John Burke replied from inside and out to tie the scores at 28-28. A quick Warriors run saw them fire their way back into the lead with a corner three from Jokubaitis and inside scores from Quigley and a Jackson double eased them 7 points ahead. Mvuezolo, who was well guarded by the hosts defence, managed to hit a couple of late efforts for the visitors but Quigley and Jokic combined to leave the Warriors 42-35 ahead at the long break.

The sides went score for score in the third quarter as the huge crowd got right into the contest and when Jokubaitis, Jackson and a three from Keelan Crowe pushed the Warriors out to a 52-42 lead, the Complex was absolutely rocking. A close range effort from Paul Freeman and five from five from the line from Haines cut the gap but when James Fernane heralded his arrival in to the game with a score and Jackson was again on the mark the Warriors kept their 7 point half time advantage in place at the end of the third.

The Warriors lead was whittled down to a single score early in the fourth after an impressive quickfire 7 points from Haines to close the gap but a double from Jackson and a stunning three from Jokubaitis set up what appeared to be a game winning lead. However with the very next play Maree captain Eoghan Rockall replied in kind to keep Maree in range and when Haines followed his lead the advantage was down to 3. The Warriors moved into foul trouble and when Donaghy was called for a contentious foul, his reaction was met with a technical sanction and he exited the game before Haines inflicted maximum damage from the free throw line. Maree fired their way into the lead with Cutuk in range from both sides of the arc and despite Andrée Michelsson giving the Warriors a late lifeline, Gomez and Haines sealed the deal with late free throws to secure the 80-72 win.

Scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Dre Jackson 25, Daniel Jokubaitis 16, Eoin Quigley 9

University of Galway Maree: Jarett Haines 32, Joe Junior Mvuezolo 12, Zvonimir Cutuk 12

Next up for the Warriors is a week off to regather as the Cup quarter finals take centre stage but another tough trip away to Dublin lies ahead when they face Bright St. Vincent’s in Round 9 of the League. Tip off at St. Vincent’s CBS on Saturday week, December 10th  is at 7.00pm.

POST MATCH AUDIO

Warriors Coach John Dowling was looking for the positives despite another loss and was pleased with the performance ahead of two tough trips to Dublin…

He says the Warriors next two games in Dublin will ultimately define their season and that Maree are now the team to beat for the League title…

University of Galway Maree Coach Charlie Crowley was delighted with his first win in Tralee against the Warriors…

He says they can now set their focus on Belfast Star next week and a place in the Cup semi final…

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: