Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are the Pat Duffy National Cup champions after an 88-75 win over C&S Neptune at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Saturday night. The atmosphere at basketball HQ was electric with the Warriors faithful supporters providing incredible colour, noise and support as they cheered their team to their historic victory. The Cup win completes the Warriors’ trophy cabinet of national titles in their short but hugely successful history in Super League. The Warriors secured Champions Trophy titles in 2017 and 2018 and a Super League crown in 2019 and now add the truly coveted National Cup title to their impressive roll of honour.
Daniel Jokubaitis was thoroughly deserving as the MVP with his 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, and in a delightful gesture gave the golden ball award to Warriors fan Adam Maher. Captain Fergal O’Sullivan sportingly recognised the enormous contribution to basketball in Tralee that Kieran Donaghy has been at the centre of for almost two decades by bringing his lifelong friend with him to accept the Pat Duffy National Cup in front of the Warriors adoring supporters.
On a night of nights, it was finally Warriors’ time.
John Dowling, Garvey’s Tralee Warriors head coach, was elated afterwards. “We dreamt this dream – Kieran (Donaghy), myself, Pat Carey seven years ago and we knew the talent was there, we knew the underage structures were there, we just needed to get the club together. The beauty with Tralee Warriors is that it’s a franchise, one team in Tralee, everyone is behind it, sponsors Garvey’s, O’Neill’s, Premier, they’re all behind it, pulling it together and it is driving Tralee to basketball to another level that I didn’t think it could go to. But for the whole club, the whole town of Tralee unbelievable effort, unbelievable sacrifice. I am just delighted for everybody.”Kieran Donaghy, who has won multiple medals in his distinguished sporting career, was asked where a National Cup title ranked – “It’s right up there, it’s been six years since this club was amalgamated from Brendan’s and Imperials, and this was always the dream.
Next up for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is a tough return to Super League action when they face the trip to Colaiste Éanna in Rathfarnham to play DBS Éanna in what is a renewal of rivalries following their Cup semi-final meeting in Cork earlier this month.
Photos Brendan Moran from Sportsfile