Basketball Ireland Development League – Final

Tralee Warriors 86

Carrick Cruisers 70

The Tralee Warriors made it a weekend to remember by adding the inaugural Basketball Ireland Development National League title to the Mens U20 National League title they won on Saturday with an 86-70 win over Carrick Cruisers in the decider on Sunday morning.

The Warriors threatened to put the contest to bed early on when they blasted out to a 14 point lead with captain Aaron Fleming leading the charge with three threes and with James Fernane also in range from outside the pair shared the opening 16 points for the Tralee side. Carrick ‘s responses came from Andrew O’Connor and when Ramunas Ramunauskas added the Warriors led 16-4 at the midway point of the quarter. Steven Bowler and Padraig Fleming opened their accounts to add to the lead but threes from Killian McAdam and Rimvydas Valatonis cut the quarter time gap to 23-12. It was Valatonis’s last action of the game as he was taken to hospital with a serious leg injury with the game delayed for 20 minutes.

On the resumption the Warriors continued to dominate the exchanges with a Josh Osayanrhion double helping to push the lead back out to 16. Back to back three from O’Connor and a hat trick from inside from Ramnauskas pared the gap back to 7 but when Dan Bowler hit his first of the day and James Fernane flicked in two brilliant threes the Warriors looked good for their 41-30 lead at half time.

The third quarter saw a momentum shift go the way of the Monaghan based outfit as they slowly chipped away at the Warriors lead with Danas Smigelskis and Ramunas Ramanauskas tormenting the Tralee side defensive unit as they shared Carrick’s next 10 points in a row. Dan Bowler, Padraig Fleming and Josh Osayanrhion kept the Warriors score ticking over and the double digit lead intact. The Warriors rearguard continued to try to repel the Carrick attack but Smigelskis and Ramanauskas combined again to cut the lead right down to a single score. However foul trouble allowed the Warriors through Fernane and Osayanrhion to restore some comfort in their 59-52 advantage at three quarter time.

The Cruisers struck early in the final quarter in a bid to derail the perfect weekend for the Warriors as Ramanauskas, O’Connor and Audrius Urbanavicius levelled the contest with 6’40’’ on the clock and then took the lead for the first time in the game with an Andrew O’Connor lay up. Steven Bowler then showed his Super League credentials adding a quickfire 8 points including an inspirational ‘and one’ score to spread the game again. Osayanrhion with a double and Aaron Fleming with yet another belter from distance saw the Warriors lead 75-64 with 2’00’’ on the clock. Ramanauskas and O’Connor landed late scores for Carrick but Aaron Fleming finished the game with a superb cameo to add two more stunning threes and Adam O’Keeffe’s late appearance was capped with a memorable major score to seal the win.

Aaron Fleming accepted the inaugural BIDL National League trophy with co-captain Daire Kennelly and Fleming was also deservedly selected as MVP with his six three pointers showcasing a stunning display of his outside shooting.


Tralee Warriors: Aaron Fleming 22, James Fernane 19, Joshua Osayanrhion 16

Carrick Cruisers: Ramunas Ramanauskas 27, Andrew O’Connor 19, Danas Smigelskis 12

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