Warriors overpower Marian to set up another semi-final date with Éanna

InsureMyVan.ie Men’s Super League 2021/2022 – Quarter Final Play Off

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 88

UCD Marian 71

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors will take on DBS Éanna in the InsureMyVan.ie Mens Super League semi-final this weekend following their 88-71 defeat of UCD Marian at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night. The Warriors always maintained the upper hand in the contest, holding a double-digit lead from early on before going on to clinch their spot in the last four of the League.

The Warriors intentions were clear from the outset and an impressive early scoring run had Marian at sixes and sevens. Eoin Quigley and Daniel Jokubaitis were in range from distance to open the Warriors account and by the time Quigley hit his second three after a double from beyond the arc from Aaron Calixte the Marian Coach Josko Srzic had to call a timeout with the hosts leading 23-9. Marian shooter Jonathan Jean cut the gap with a couple of three pointers but Kieran Donaghy and Keelan Crowe added from inside to see the Warriors lead 27-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Marian point guard Jonathan Jean found a gap to lay up the opening score of the second quarter but a quick double from Brandon Cotton kept the Warriors lead in double digits. Darragh O’Hanlon and Calixte were on the mark to keep the pressure on the visitors, but a number of Warriors defensive fouls allowed UCD to shoot from the line and Srdjan Stojanovic, Jean and Neil Baynes took advantage to keep the college side in the game. The UCD bench were then hit with a technical when questioning a refereeing call and their indiscipline spilled onto the court with Donaghy and Calixte obliging with free throws to round out the first half with the Warriors leading 42-27.

The Warriors looked like cutting loose early in third when Jokubaitis got an open look for a three followed by a floated effort from inside. However, it only served to kickstart something of a UCD revival as Mariusz Markiewicz, Conor Meany and Jean combined to reel in the Warriors lead to 10 points at 52-42. But the Marian run was brought to a halt when threes from Donaghy and Jokubaitis again had the home crowd in full voice. Donaghy and Cotton inflicted more pain on the visitors before their veteran shooter Conor Meany who was impressive throughout fired in a typical three-point effort to leave 16 between the sides at 64-46 at three quarter time.

An eye-catching cameo from Marian substitute Eoin McCann early in the final quarter saw him add 8 points from inside and out but Cotton and Quigley replied to keep the sizable gap intact. However back-to-back effort from Jean had the gap down to 11 at the midway point in the quarter. In the decisive moment of the game Marian’s Dan James was called for a foul on Aaron Calixte and he displeasure with the call was rewarded with a technical and when Conor Meany also voiced his annoyance, he also received a technical call. Aaron Calixte was left to inflict maximum damage hitting four from four from the line to cement the Warriors advantage. A late three-point shootout added some gloss to a contest that never quite took flight. Calixte, Quigley and Fergal O’Sullivan fired in from distance before Meany and Jean responded to keep the score reasonable. It was left to Kieran Donaghy to run in an uncontested lay-up to see out the 88-71 win and set up next week’s winner take all semi-final against keen rivals DBS Éanna in Colaiste Éanna,

Scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Aaron Calixte 28, Eoin Quigley 14, Kieran Donaghy 11, Daniel Jokubaitis 11

UCD Marian: Jonathan Jean 28, Conor Meany 21, Eoin McCann 8

The dream of a League and Cup double is alive as next up for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is a trip to Colaiste Éanna and another semi-final date with DBS Éanna, the team the Warriors overcame in the semi-final of the Cup. Another win will see them back in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on the following weekend where either C&S Neptune or Tradehouse Central Ballincollig will be waiting for them.

 POST MATCH AUDIO

Warriors Head Coach John Dowling says shutting down the Marian shooters was key to setting up the win…

He says nothing short of perfection will be good enough next weekend against Éanna…

Captain Fergal O’Sullivan was pleased with the way his side dealt with the threat from Marian…

He says next weekend will be a massive challenge for his team but feels these are the games they wish for…

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