Men’s Super League 2022/2023 – Round 6

Moycullen 64

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 85

After an unprecedented run of losses including an early exit from the Pat Duffy National Cup last weekend, Garvey’s Tralee Warriors secured their second win of the season easily accounting for Moycullen in the Kingfisher Arena on Saturday night.

In an entertaining opening quarter both sides decided that attack was the best form of defence with Matija Jokic getting the Warriors on the board and James Fernane taking his opportunity of making the first five to shoot a couple of cracking three pointers. Grant Olsson, Ayberk Taylan and Matteo Liberatore combined for the hosts to cut the gap but Dre Jackson’s first basket of the night saw the Warriors lead 11-9. Jackson was only warming up however and a quick fire 7 points eased the visitors into an 18-10 ahead. Liberatore and Olsson were in range late on but another quality score in the paint from Jokic saw the Warriors lead 20-14 at the end of the first.

The Warriors spread the game early in the second with Andrée Michelsson and Eoin Quigley adding their names to the scoresheet before Jackson drilled a stunning three from the corner to push the lead out to double digits. Liberatore and the Cunningham brothers Dylan and Kyle kept the home side in the game but Moycullen’s offensive effort then dried up just as the Warriors began to find their range. Jackson repeated his corner three, then added another before Daniel Jokubaitis opened his account to move the Warriors 35-21 ahead. Fernane and Olsson exchanged baskets before Jokubaitis finally found the basket from beyond the arc with a buzzer beating three to put the Warriors 40-24 up at half time.

An early Matteo Liberatore three for Moycullen in the third did nothing but ignite a run from the  Warriors that saw them consolidate and then build on their lead with the excellent James Fernane hitting his third and fourth threes of the evening and Quigley, Jackson and Jokubaitis getting in on the act to push the lead out to 54-31. Kyle Cunningham and the impressive Olsson brought the Warriors advantage down to 54-40 but when the outstanding Jackson combined with Jokic and Michelsson the gap was back out to over 20. Dara Kenna made an impression when coming in for Moycullen and despite two quick scores from him the Warriors were still in total control at 64-46 at the end of the third.

John Dowling kept the rotations going in the fourth and Steven Bowler took his chance to add a score early on before Jokic quickly followed his lead. The Warriors early season indiscipline almost came back to haunt them as Daniel Jokubaitis, who was having an uncharacteristically quiet game, was called for a flop and issued with a technical and when he reacted to the referee, was lucky not to receive any further sanction. The incident did not take the Warriors focus off the prize of three precious League point and Jackson and Michelsson added from inside and out to put 21 between the sides. Threes from Joe Tummon and Brian Gaffney and scores from Kyle Cunningham for Moycullen kept the score respectable. The biggest cheer of the evening came from the Warriors bench when Padraig Fleming, who was enjoying some well-earned minutes on court, helped himself to a score before Daire Kennelly also heralded his return to the Warriors set up by dropping in the final score of the game and sealing the crucial 85-64 win

Top scorers: Moycullen: Grant Olsson 21, Kyle Cunningham 11, Matteo Liberatore 9

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Dre Jackson 30, James Fernane 14, Matija Jokic 11

Next up for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is a mouth-watering clash with Emporium Cork Basketball, formerly Ballincollig, at the Tralee Sports Complex next Saturday night and another chance for the defending champions to play their way back into the mix in the South Conference ahead of the visit of University of Galway Maree next week. Tip off next Saturday night is 7.30pm. The Super League game will be preceded by the meeting of the Warriors U20s who take on the Ballincollig U20s with tip off at 4.30pm.

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