Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 77
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors will meet DBS Éanna in the semi-final of the InsureMyHouse.ie Pat Duffy National Cup after seeing off the challenge of Moycullen by 77-62 at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night.
Moycullen were out of the blocks first with Paul Kelly firing in an opening three and despite a reply in kind from Ron Elksnis for the Warriors, Kyle Cunningham and Connor Curran were also for their range from outside to see the visitors lead 11-7 early on. The Warriors settled into the contest with Daniel Jokubaitis and Aaron Calixte combining to take the lead and when Elksnis fired in from inside and Calixte hit a three the home side led by 6. A late three from Connor Curran cut the Warriors lead to 20-17 at the end of the first quarter.
The Warriors were on the mark early in the second with Elksnis and Brandon Cotton stretching their advantage but scores from Kyle Cunningham, Grant Olsson and Joseph Tummon cut the gap back to a single point. Daniel Jokubaitis found the time and space to fire down a stunning three and repeated the dose again after Keelan Crowe pulled up for his first score and suddenly the Warriors were ahead by 11. Darragh O’Hanlon opened up to fire in his first major score with the last action of the quarter and the home side took a 38-25 lead to the long break.
Moycullen endeavoured to bridge the gap early in the third through Tummon, Kyle Cunningham, Olsson and Paul Kelly but a three each from Eoin Quigley and Cotton maintained the Warriors double digit lead. Quigley, Elksnis and Jokubaitis combined to bring the Warriors tally to 50 but a major score from Tummon and a drive to the board for Olsson kept Moycullen just about in the game. But Jokubaitis had the final say in the quarter when he hit his third three of the night to give the home side a comfortable 55-41 advantage at the end of the third.
The Warriors faithful would have been forgiven for thinking the contest was all but over when Fergal O’Sullivan fired in his first three of the night early in the final quarter and scores from Jokubaitis and Elksnis left 16 between the sides. However. Moycullen launched a stunning run of scores to cut the gap to just 5 after two threes from Curran and a score from inside and out from Paul Kelly. But the Galway side simply couldn’t sustain the momentum and but for free throws from Olsson and Eoghan Kelly they would not score again. Scores from Calixte, Jokubaitis and Crowe, and with Moycullen in foul trouble, a selection of free throws added some gloss to the final score of 77-62 to see the Warriors safely through to another Cup semi-final date with DBS Éanna.
The Tralee side will be looking for a reversal of fortune in a repeat of the 2020 semi-final when the Dublin side overpowered the Warriors by 78-65 to reach the Cup Final for the first time. The other semi-final sees C&S Neptune take on NUIG Maree with the fixtures to be played over the weekend of the 8th and 9th January in Neptune Stadium.
Top scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Daniel Jokubaitis 20, Aaron Calixte 17, Ron Elksnis 14
Moycullen: Grant Olsson 18, Connor Curran 14, Kyle Cunningham 12
Next up for the Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is an away trip to take on Belfast Star at the De La Salle College in Belfast on Saturday next with tip off at 5.00pm.
Post Game Interviews
Warriors Head Coach John Dowling wasn’t surprised that Moycullen kept the Warriors honest to the end and says that all clubs have invested wisely in their squads this season…
He says the Southern Conference is proving to be arguably more competitive than the Northern league having three of the four teams remaining in the Cup…
Captain Fergal O’Sullivan says his side will be fired up for another run at Éanna in the semi final and was quick to praise Moycullen for their efforts last night…
Moycullen Head Coach John Cunningham was disappointed with the loss having seen his side squander a number of easy chances…