Pat Duffy National Cup – Round 1

DBS Éanna 85

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 79

Defending champions Garvey’s Tralee Warriors interest in this season’s Pat Duffy National Cup came to an end with defeat to DBS Éanna in Colaiste Éanna on Saturday night. The Warriors led throughout the first half but relinquished the lead early in the third before seeing their dreams of retaining the Cup slip away from them in the final minutes of the game.

Coming into the game on the back of four League losses, the Warriors eyed this Cup tie as the opportunity to reboot and reignite their campaign. They started like a team on a mission with Daniel Jokubaitis opening the scoring with a booming effort from outside and when Dre Jackson, Matija Jokic, and Eoin Quigley were all in range the Warriors quickly built a 19-8 lead. Éanna’s response came from Neil Lynch and Sean Jenkins but when Jokubaitis hit his third three and Jokic stepped to the board the Warriors continued to edge the early exchanges. Back-to-back Éanna scores from Lynch followed by a major score from Stefan Desnica cut the deficit to just 3. However, an Andrée Michelsson effort from inside late on gave the Warriors a 26-21 lead at the end of the first.

Dre Jackson stepped impressively to the Éanna board to open the scoring in the second quarter and Jokubaitis made it four threes for the evening before Romann Nelson also found his range from beyond the arc. Éanna’s Kristian Andebaka also fired in from distance before Quigley and Jackson added for the Warriors and Jokic kept his side in front by virtue of 4 from 6 from the free throw line. But Nelson would have the final say in the half when firing in his third three of the quarter to cut the Warriors advantage to 41-38 at the long break.

Éanna regrouped to turn the game around with a 13-point volley kickstarted by Josh Wilson and followed up with a three from Jenkins that gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the game. Éanna captain Neil Lynch continued to threaten from the arc and his second three of the night pushed the hosts lead out to 51-43. John Dowling had no option but to call a timeout to halt the onslaught and to their credit the Warriors responded to cut into the Éanna lead through Jokic and Jokubaitis. Jackson followed up with a three and with Kieran Donaghy’s first score of the game edged the Warriors back in front by 54-53 with 2 minutes left in the quarter. The Warriors finished the quarter in style with Jokic adding a quickfire six points and when Jackson fired in a belter from well beyond the arc the visitors led 63-58 at the end of the third.

Éanna again produced an early run in the fourth to fire in an 11-point salvo with Wilson, Jenkins, Tomic and Andebaka all getting in on the act to move their side 69-65 ahead. The Warriors resistance came in the form of a Jokubaitis score early on and when he fired in his fifth three of the night he cut the gap to a single point with 3 minutes on the clock. Éanna’s Mark Reynolds and Marco Tomic were fouled out in quick succession but only after Tomic had banked in a cracking score to put his side back in front. Kieran Donaghy was heroic throughout the evening, particularly under his own board, and with Jokic equally effective at the other end the visitors were still well in the game with 2 minutes on the clock. However with the Warriors in need of a killer score it was Éanna captain Neil Lynch that produced an inspirational and ultimately game winning three pointer. Both teams were now on team fouls and it was the hosts that made the most of the opportunities presented with Lynch, Andebaka and Jenkins flawless from the line. Fergal O’Sullivan and Jokubaitis tried desperately to salvage the situation late on but the impressive Josh Wilson guided his side over the line with two perfect sets of free throws to seal an 85-79 win and set up a Cup quarter-final meeting with Energywise Ireland Neptune in Cork in early December.

Top scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Daniel Jokubaitis 26, Dre Jackson 20, Matija Jokic 20

DBS Éanna: Josh Wilson 21, Neil Lynch 15, Sean Jenkins 14

The Warriors travel to Galway next weekend to take on Moycullen, the only team to sit below them in the South Conference. A win is absolutely essential with the in-form Emporium Cork Basketball and University of Galway Maree coming to Tralee for back to back home games on the 19th and 26th November respectively. Tip off for the Moycullen v Warriors game next Saturday evening in the Kingfisher Arena is 7.00pm.


Warriors Coach John Dowling says his side did everything they could to win but Éanna hit some big scores at the right time to win out..

He says his team came into the game after a difficult run of four losses and it will be difficult to build up his charges for challenges in the League that lie ahead…

Éanna Coach Darren McGovern says his side’s game plan worked out for them in the end…

He says his side possesses a good spread of scorers and that was an important factor in their win…

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