Garvey’s Tralee Warriors displayed their tremendous battling qualities when overcoming C & S Neptune 92-95 in Saturday night’s Men’s Super League thriller at the Neptune Stadium.
The Kerry side led for the majority of the tie but Neptune got their noses ahead coming down the stretch before Warriors mounted a late surge to snatch victory. The visitors were also relieved that Cian Heaphy failed to execute six of his attempted seven free throws in the closing two minutes.
Warriors’ captain Kieran Donaghy paid tribute to their opponents: “Neptune are a very young side and all of them are excellent off the dribble and that made life a little difficult for us at times.
“They had a bad start (to the league) losing their opening five games but they have turned their season around and the good thing for us was that we expected a tough game and were prepared to knuckle down.”
The Warriors stalwart also admitted that the Christmas period can be tough for players.
“We have players including myself with children and we had lots of movement over Christmas and it’s hard to keep the programme going as we would have liked but now we are into the most crucial five weeks of the campaign.”
Neptune coach Paul Kelleher was bitterly disappointed his side had failed to close out the game. Kelleher said: “We have played two of the top teams in the league in our last two games and lost by three points to both of them. That’s hard to take. We hadn’t the best of preparations coming into the game but Tralee are a good team with experienced players and we are not quite at that point yet. The day for saying we are a young team is long gone as we are too far into the season and we got to learn how to win games when they hang in the balance.”
Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin made it a good night for Kerry sides when they defeated UCC Demons 81-79 at the Killorglin Sports Complex. Demons trailed by 21 points midway through the third quarter but tied the game with a minute remaining in the fourth before a late Daniel Jokobaitis basket sealed the win for Killorglin. Assistant coach Troy O’Mahony rued his side’s defeat.
“We never got going until the last quarter and in the end could have snatched it but now we must ready for our derby game against Neptune on Friday.”
DCU Saints returned to winning ways when defeating Maree 91-71.
The Dublin side had endured a run of poor results but in the opening quarter they blitzed the westerners when racing into a 17-point lead. As the game matured DCU continued to control the game much to the delight of coach Joey Boylan.
“We lost our way for a few games but this was our best performance for many weeks and hopefully it will give us the confidence going forward.
“We certainly need to get our act together for the second half of the season.” The downward slide of Griffith College Swords Thunder continued when they suffered a 79-63 defeat to Pyrobel Killester at Clontarf. Killester were always in control as they commanded a 51-33 interval lead and inspired Alex Herros and Royce Williams they never looked in trouble against a Swords side that are having a poor season by their standards.