Titans leave fightback too late

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors survived a late Titans' fightback before eventually defeating the Galway outfit 71-65 to win the InsureMyVan.ie U20 Men’s National League final.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors led by as much as 24 points at one stage, and although Titans got within three points in the final minute, they could not overhaul their opponents.

It was a sluggish opening as both sides struggled to get into their scoring rhythm, but it was Garvey’s Tralee Warriors who were ahead, 20-15, by the end of the quarter. Daniel Bowler, who scored a game-high 22 points, finished the quarter strongly with six points in the last two minutes.

Tralee Warriors continued to build their lead with Ireland U18 men’s captain Aivaras Uosis particularly prominent. His 10 points in the quarter included two from the three-point line, and he ended the game with 18 points, on his way to claiming the MVP.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors took a 39-28 lead into the third and stretched that to 24 points through Daniel Bowler’s two-pointer landed midway through the quarter. However, Titans chipped away at the scoreboard, and an end of quarter buzzer-beating three by Jackson Soper for Titans saw them trail 60-43. However, with head coach Ben Kelly delivering a passionate team talk ahead of fourth quarter, Titans team raced out of the blocks, posting four points before a layup from Donal O’Sullivan stopped the Titans' run as Garvey’s Tralee Warriors led 62-47.

Titans continued to plug away, a three from Brendan Hardiman and two from Brian Gaffney saw the deficit down to 10 points, 67-57, with 2’17 to go. A Joseph Coughlan layup with 1’14 to go had the Titans' fans on their feet as they trailed 67-61.

The pacy Coughlan was a real menace in the fourth quarter, and with another layup with 34 seconds to go, it was a three-point game, 68-65.

However, Garvey’s Tralee Warriors steadied the ship and picked up some points from the free-throw line through Eddie Sheehy and Eoin Creedon to close out a 71-65 win.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Phoenix Costello (DNP ), Adam O’Keeffe (0 ), Eddie Sheehy (11 ), Coren Hughes (DNP ), Eoin Creedon (6 ), Evan Boyle (3 ), Gary Lynch (5 ), Aivaras Uosis (18 ), Daniel Bowler (22 ), Jack Dakissia (DNP ), Donal O’Sullivan (6 ).

Titans: Joseph Coughlan (10 ), Dean Coughlan (DNP ), Eoin Hardiman (DNP ), Ben Powell (5 ), Brian Gaffney (17 ), Jackson Soper (18 ), Brendan Hardiman (7 ), Jason Nwose (0 ), Michael Popoola (0 ), Tommy Burns (2 ), Sam Cassidy (0 ), Liam O’Conaola (6 ).


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