InsureMyVan.ie Men’s Super League 2021/2022 – Round 2
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 84
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors consolidated their season opening win against Team 360 Financial Killorglin with a thrilling 84-81 win over Moycullen at the Kingfisher Arena in NUIG on Sunday afternoon. A game high 31 points for point guard Aaron Calixte allied to outstanding Super League debut displays by James Fernane and Steven Bowler laid the foundation for the valuable road win for the Warriors.
John Dowling’s charges travelled to Galway without the services of Eoin Quigley through injury, Kieran Donaghy who was helping Austin Stacks win the Club Championship and a number of players who were observing Covid protocols but the game provided an opportunity for the Warriors to introduce new American Brandon Cotton and to allow some of the younger members of the squad to step up to Super League duty.
The sides went score for score in the opening quarter with Aaron Calixte impressively firing in 10 early points to negate scores from Josh Marvesley, Grant Olsen and Joe Tummon for the hosts. Olsen fired in another couple of threes to push the home side ahead but a three from Calixte and James Fernane’s first score in Super League had the Warriors on level terms. Fergal O’Sullivan helped himself to four free throws either side of a trademark major score before Warriors new recruit Brandon Cotton opened his account and despite a double from Marvesley, the visitors led 27-24 at quarter time.
Cotton was on the mark again twice early in the second and helped push the Warriors into an 8-point lead. Marco Babic replied for Moycullen but Nikola Roso fired in two from the line to keep the Warriors lead intact. Calixte then produced a sensational scoring spree for the visitors and by the half time break had added 12 points to the Warriors tally. A hat trick of threes from Tummon, Mark Bree and Kyle Cunningham kept Moycullen in touch before a late score from Marvesley kept single figures between the sides at long break with the Warriors ahead by 47-38.
Moycullen stormed back into the contest early in the third and threes from Olsen and scores from Bree and Olsen again wiped out the Warriors half time advantage. However Roso and O’Sullivan arced in two threes to restore a lead of 59-54 at the midway point in the quarter. Calixte continued to torment the Moycullen defence and drove his way to the board for back to back scores and another cracking three pointer from O’Sullivan kept the pressure on the hosts. Joe Tummon and Kyle Cunningham combined to cut the gap before Cotton and a three from Steven Bowler saw the Warriors lead 71-64 at three quarter time.
In a dramatic final quarter Cunningham cut the gap early on before O’Sullivan got an open look at the basket and fired in from beyond the arc. Two scores from Tummon halved the Warriors lead and when Cunningham was again on target the gap was down to two. Fernane found his range again with a super score from distance before Cunningham replied in kind and when Olsen added the gap was down to just a single point. Steven Bowler stepped up to fire in the vital score for the Warriors at the death before Calixte capped a terrific individual performance with two free throws to seal the 84-81 win.
Top scorers: Moycullen: Grant Olsen 22, Joe Tummon 21, Josh Marvesley 14
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Aaron Calixte 31, Fergal O’Sullivan 17, James Fernane 10
Next up for the Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is a home tie with C&S Neptune at the Tralee Sports Complex on Saturday night next, 23rd October, with a 7.30pm tip off.