Wily Warriors dethrone kingpins Templeogue

Holders Templeogue are out of the Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup after losing 92-103 to Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, in Inchicore.

Wily Warriors dethrone kingpins Templeogue

By John Coughlan

Holders Templeogue are out of the Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup after losing 92-103 to Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, in Inchicore.

In one of the best performances of the season, the Kerry side halted the run of the champions in magnificent style on Saturday night.

In a pulsating opening quarter, both sides stormed from the tracks, but with American Jordan Evans showing his class, Warriors edged 27-24 ahead.

Tralee — inspired by the outstanding Kieran Donaghy in defence — cut through Templeogue and extended their lead to 16 points at the break.

In the second-half, the champions were always chasing the game, but the Warriors held firm and booked a home quarter-final against UCC Demons.

A thrilled Donaghy said: “We came with a game plan and it worked, but plaudits must go to coach Pat Price, who prepared us and instilled belief into the squad in the build-up to this game”.

Losing coach Mark Keenan had no complaints, but admitted: “For some strange reason, shots didn’t drop, and credit to coach Pat Price, and his team, who were excellent on the night.”

Griffith College Swords Thunder came mighty close to being eliminated, away to Maree, but rallied in the second-half, to close out the game 80-83.

The Galway side led 48-40 at the break, but Thunder produced clinical basketball and with Elijah May chipping in 24 points, they edged this hard-fought game, much to the relief of coach, Dave Baker. He admitted: “Maree shot the ball superbly, as they proved when winning at UCC Demons, and we had to call on all our resources to get over them.”

UCD Marian, last year’s finalists, booked their place into the last-eight with a 96-78 win over Moycullen.

The students were in control from start to finish, with point guard, Barry Drumm, contributing a stunning 25 points.

For stalwart Conor Meany, this was a crucial win, given the heartbreak of last January. Meany said: “We went mighty close to winning the cup last season and the disappointment of losing will, hopefully, drive us on in this campaign.”

C & S Neptune exited the championship, following their 92-78 defeat at Belfast Star.

The northerners paved the way for the win with a sensational opening half, commanding a 19-point interval lead.

The Cork side responded in the second-half, but Star held out for a deserved win, with coach, Adrian Fulton, having mixed emotions.

Fulton said: “We were superb in the first-half, but went away from what we were doing best. I am delighted with the win, but not so happy with our second-half display.”

Paul Kelleher reflected on his side’s fifth consecutive loss in all competitions: “Teams now have players shooting up to four feet outside the perimeter and if we can nullify those threats in the coming weeks, we can turn our season around”.

Indeed it proved another bad weekend for the Cork club, as they also lost a Men’s Super League game, away to Belfast Star, yesterday, going down 93-67.

In the Paudie O’Connor Women’s National Cup, Ambassador UCC Glanmire were pushed all the way by Killester, before prevailing 80-77.

The Dublin side led almost the entire game, but a late Glanmire rally, inspired by Annaliese Murphy and Miriam Loughrey, saw the Leesiders stumble over the line.

Fr Mathew’s also booked a quarter-final berth, following their 64-39 win over Marble City Hawks, with Grainne Dwyer finishing with 24 points.

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