Men’s U20 National League 2023/2024 – Quarter Final

Tralee Warriors 68

Templeogue 65

Tralee Warriors’ credentials to win back to back Mens U20 National League titles survived a thorough examination on Bank Holiday Monday when they came from behind to overcome a talented Templeogue side and qualify for a semi-final meeting with Limerick Celtics. It was far from straightforward for Luke O’Hea’s charges as they trailed by as much as 8 late in the third but a 20-10 final quarter saw them power home to keep their title defence intact.

Templeogue had the better of the early exchanges with baskets from inside and outside from Jacob Fazande, Adam Tighe and Jake Mullins giving the visitors an 11-6 with the Warriors on the mark through Josh Osayanrhion, Olaf Michalczuk and Eddie Sheehy. The hosts were back on terms when Michalczuk knocked down his first three of the evening and Sheehy slalomed to board to land a fine score. Despite another tough basket from Jacob Fazande, the Warriors edged ahead through Osayanrhion and Sheehy to lead 19-16 at the end of the first.

The Warriors took off on an impressive run early in the second and with Sheehy, Osayanrhion, Michalczuk, Brian O’Leary and Donal O’Sullivan all getting in on the act to see the home side’s lead blow out to 35-21. However Templeogue regrouped and finished the quarter the stronger with scores from Mullins and Gian Cabello with a double each, Jack Wright and Jacob Fazande cut the gap to 5. Eoin Creedon was to have the last say in the quarter landing a tough effort to give the Warriors a 41-34 half-time lead.

Templeogue began the third quarter with real intent and by the time Jake Mullins had landed his second basket of the quarter to add to efforts from Adam Tighe and Jacob Fazande, the Dublin side led 46-44. The Warriors solitary score was a major from Creedon as they struggled to contain the Templeogue offence. It got worse for the Warriors when Tighe, Fazande and Wright shared a combined 7 points late on to stretch their advantage to 53-45. Crucially for the Warriors Olaf Michalczuk got a late, late open look to arc in a cracking three to cut the Templeogue lead to 53-48 at three quarter time.

Brian O’Leary pared the lead to a single score early in the fourth but Templeogue’s response was immediate with Wright and Mullins striking from either side of the arc before Michalczuk hit nothing but net again to spark another Warriors run that would prove to be decisive. O’Leary followed his lead with a major from the wing and Eddie Sheehy took responsibility to land two tough inside scores to edge the Warriors ahead again by the minimum. Osayanrhion then struck for the score of the game landing an alley oop effort after being teed up by Sheehy, he slammed in a jaw dropping score to bring the sizable crowd in Moyderwell to their feet. It seemed to instantly diffuse the Templeogue challenge and Osaynrhion took the momentum from his stunning score to post a quickfire 5 points to see out the win for Warriors by 68-63 in the end.


Tralee Warriors: Joshua Osayanrhion 19, Eddie Sheehy 16,Olaf Michalczuk 14

Templeogue: Jake Mullins 16, Jacob Fazande 16, Jack Wright 15

Thanks to Liam Ryan for the images.

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