Mens U20 National League – Round 3

Tralee Warriors 85

Limerick Lions 87

(After Over Time)

Tralee Warriors unbeaten run came to an end with a narrow defeat to Limerick Lions after overtime at the Tralee Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. The Lions led for the majority of the contest with the Warriors taking the lead briefly in the fourth and again in overtime when they looked like they might have timed their run to win to perfection. However a three from the free scoring Darragh Horkan proved to be the killer score to give the Lions a narrow but deserved win on the night.

The Lions could not have got off to a better start with Darragh Horkan, Liam Price and Daniel Shabab combining to fire the visitors out to a 24-7 lead. The Warriors resistance was limited to scores from Josh Osayanrhion and Donal O’Sullivan but when Olaf Michalczuk arced in his first three it sparked an impressive response that saw scores from Osayanrhion, Phoenix Costello and Michalczuk from inside and outside to see the Warriors cut the sizable gap back to 26-22 at quarter time.

The Warriors edged a tight second quarter with a double from Donal O’Sullivan and a brilliant display of score making from Osayanrhion adding nine points in a row. The Lions continued to find their range and with Horkan, Price and Alfie McCoy on the mark the visitors still held the lead of 37-35 at half time.

Osayanrhion continued where he left off in the second quarter with a quick fire double at the start of the third but when Shabab replied in kind and Price hit a hat trick the Lions pushed their advantage out to 6. Michalczuk gave Warriors a badly needed score with another three but the Lions roared again with Michael Fahy, Price and Horkan firing the visitors 55-43 ahead. The Warriors rallied again and a late volley of scores from Osayanrhion, O’Sullivan, Michalczuk and Eddie Sheehy saw Warriors cut the gap back to 55-52 at the end of the third.

The Warriors stormed into the final quarter and hit an unanswered 11 points through Osayanrhion, Sheehy, Michalczuk and Evan Boyle to see the hosts take the lead for the first time in the contest and move to 63-57 up. The Lions again found baskets when they needed them and Fahy, Horkan and Price had the Limerick side back on terms as the clock counted down. A three from Shabab looked like being the game winning score as the Lions led 70-67 with seconds left but Olaf Michalczuk produced a splendid effort from beyond the arc to tie the game at 70-70 to move the contest into overtime.

The sides literally went score for score in the additional period and were level on four separate occasions. Osayanrhion with 10 points and Michalczuk with 5 moved the Warriors into position to seal the win as they led 85-83 in the final minute of overtime. The Lions scores came from the usual suspects Horkan, Price and Shabab but trailing by 2 points with only seconds left it was Darragh Horkan that found the space and time to fire in a dagger three to edge his side ahead. The Warriors did have a play to try to work another game winning score but a stray pass put paid to that and the Lions hung on for a narrow but deserved win in a hugely entertaining contest.


Tralee Warriors: Joshua Osayanrhion 36, Olaf Michalczuk 27, Donal O’Sullivan 12

Limerick Lions: Liam Price 32, Darragh Horkan 29, Daniel Shahab 15

Next up for the Warriors is a home date against Neptune at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday 14th January 2024 with tip off at 4.00pm.

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