Monday 21 January 2019

Basketball Ireland National League Finals: Tralee retain their crown, while Glanmire, IT Carlow and Fr Mathews drive home to glory

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors celebrate. Credit: Rockmountain Photos
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors celebrate. Credit: Rockmountain Photos Newsdesk Newsdesk

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors retained their Men’s Champions Trophy crown in style this evening as they overcame Black Amber Templeogue 73-61 in the final in Waterford.

A huge display down the stretch from Tralee’s Paul Dick and Goran Pantovic was ultimately the winning of the game for them and they head back to the kingdom with the champions crown. A nip and tuck first quarter saw Templeogue have the better of the opening exchanges, with strong boards from Jason Killeen coupled with the high energy of Lorcan Murphy edging the Dubliners ahead by the end of the first, 17-14. A big second quarter followed, with Tralee settling, and Paul Dick beginning to take charge at the top of the key, adding seven points to his side’s tally. At the other end of the court, Killeen was still causing problems for the Tralee defense, picking off some big scores, but Pemberton pushed Tralee forward, and some nice link up play with Kieran Donaghy saw them move ahead by four at the half time break, 36-32.

Momentum stayed with Tralee as the third got underway, with Goran Pantovic hitting the target in style to keep their lead intact going into the last. They were dealt a major blow with six minutes to play though when Trae Pemberton picked up his fifth foul of the game – but this merely served to inspire them even more, with MVP Paul Dick and Pantovic rounding off some superb moves to win out well in the end and see the three big titles of the men’s season find their home in three different clubs (report attached).

Ambassador UCC Glanmire got their hands on a major piece of silverware this afternoon as they ran out 76-63 point winners over reigning champions, Courtyard Liffey Celtics. In another final that was a repeat of last year, Grainne Dwyer put in a huge display for the Cork side and she, along with a star-studded cast of talented players, drove Glanmire home to glory this afternoon ensuring that the three big women’s titles of the season have also gone to three different clubs. The opening quarter was neck-in-neck, with Dwyer and Ashley Prim standing out for the Cork side, while a superb display for Aine O’Connor of Liffey Celtics edged them ahead on the first buzzer.

Casey Grace, Claire Rockall and Dwyer were only beginning though, and they took a ten-point lead into half time following a frantic second quarter. Facing into a ten-point deficit starting the third, Liffey Celtics certainly were not daunted by the challenge. Tisha Phillips shone bright for them, while Aine O’Connor continued to dominate the boards. Closing the gap back down to a point, their run was stopped in its tracks as Dwyer and Prim put in huge scores at the other end, and a massive defensive display by Glanmire pushed them out on the break and they stretched their lead back, and held on firm until the full time buzzer (report attached).

IT Carlow Basketball meanwhile were crowned Men’s Division One League Cup champions earlier today, with an 88-72 point win over Dublin Lions. A huge performance across the board from Carlow saw them drive into an early ten-point lead and they continued to impress at both ends of the court to push home to victory in the end. Despite having played a game less than 24 hours previously, Carlow certainly didn’t look tired, and huge scoring from co-captain Kevin Donohoe, Jimmy Gordon and Armand Vaikuls kept them ahead in the face of a determined Dublin Lions team. Indeed, Lions had many moments of magic, with young star Tiernan Howe one of the stand-out performers on the day, while Chris McNairney and Muhamed Sabic were hugely impressive as well, but in the end, Carlow had just too much for them and were crowned deserving winners (report attached).

Another trophy is headed to Cork this evening as well, with Fr Mathews crowned Women’s Division One champions in the first game of the day, winning out 48-43 in a nail-biter against regular season champions, Marble City Hawks. In a game of sheer grit and endurance, MVP Ashley Cunningham shone bright, putting in a huge display for Mathews and she, along with Emma Gallagher and Niamh Dwyer stormed the team home to their second piece of silverware this season. They still have one more final to play, lining up against Ulster University Elks next Saturday (March 31st) in the Champions Trophy final up in Belfast.

Basketball Ireland League Finals Results 2018

Women’s Division One Play Off Final

Marble City Hawks 43-48 Fr Mathews

Men’s Division One League Cup final

Dublin Lions 72-88 IT Carlow Basketball

Women’s Super League Play Off Final

Courtyard Liffey Celtics 63-76 Ambassador UCC Glanmire

Men’s Super League Champions Trophy Final

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 61-73 Black Amber Templeogue

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