National League

Apr 13 2024

Tralee Warriors lift U20 Men’s National League with 96-91 win over Éanna

Tralee Warriors are the U20 Men’s National League champions, following a 96-91 win over Éanna at the National Basketball Arena. MVP Olaf Michalczuk put in a huge performance for the Kerry club, helping himself to 33 points.

There was little between the sides in the opening quarter, Éanna marginally ahead 22-20. Neil Coghlan was prominent for the Dublin club, with 15 points in the quarter.

The opening exchanges of the second quarter saw the lead change hand multiple times, before Tralee started to eke out an advantage, Michalczuk’s three – his fourth of the game - put Tralee Warriors up by five, 47-42 with two minutes to go in the second quarter and they’d head it to the break 49-42 up.

Cathal O'Sullivan, Éanna U20 captain, alongside Joshua Osayanrhion of Tralee Warriors

The third quarter saw Eanna try to close the gap, captain Cathal O’Sullivan was certainly driving them forward, a pair of baskets in the opening minute and a half saw the gap close to five, 53-48. But Michalczuk was proving deadly from the three point line, back-to-back threes had Tralee Warriors up by 11 points, 61-50, four minutes in. It would be a nine point deficit by the end of the quarter thanks to a pair of Nathan Comerford free throws for Éanna, as they trailed 76-67.

Eddie Sheehy, Tralee Warriors captain, during the U20 Men's National League final at the National Basketball Arena

An O’Sullivan three saw Éanna within six points, 79-73, with less than two minutes gone in the fourth, but again Tralee Warriors re-established a 10 point lead, 85-75 after a Joshua Osayanrhion basket – he’d finish with a 24 point haul.

O’Sullivan went on a six point run midway through the quarter - a pair of free throws, a fast break and layup and a two point jump shot - to make it a three point game, 87-84, with 4’ 36” remaining and momentum seemed to be swinging towards Éanna. But an eighth basket from the three point by the impressive Michalczuk was greeted enthusiastically by the Tralee Warriors support, they were 90-84 up with four minutes remaining.

The gap was 10 points again following Brian O’Leary and Osayanrhion free throws, Tralee Warriors 94-84 up with 2’40” left. Éanna went with the full court press as they tried to chased down their opponents, they got within five points in the end, but Tralee emerged victorious on a 96-91 scoreline.

Tralee Warriors captain, Eddie Sheehy, said: “Great game, fair play to Éanna – they really put it up to us, but we know the group of guys we have. It’s an amazing group, everyone can play, we’ve known each other for years. My time and a few of the other boys’ time with the U20’s is up, but hopefully that can translate now on to the Super League and push on to the Super League team.”

Olaf Michalczuk presented the MVP award by Paul Barrett from the National League Committee (NLC)

On MVP Olaf Michalczuk, Sheehy added: “Unbelievable performance from Olaf. That’s nothing to Olaf, he can score 45 points if he wants to. He was in the States last year and he came back and he deserves it, he’s been great all season, club and Super League and U20’s, he deserves it all.”

Tralee Warriors, U20 Men's National League champions

All games from National League finals weekend are live on, while you can watch ‘Super Sunday’ live on TG4 from 1345 on Sunday, with the Champions Trophy final between Pyrobel Killester and SETU Waterford Wildcats at 2pm, followed by the Super League final featuring Griffith College Éanna and Pyrobel Killester at 4.30pm. Live stats from every game on the Swish All Hoops App. 

Tralee Warriors 96–91 Éanna  

Quarter Scores: Q1: 20-22, Q2: 49-42, Q3: 76-67, Q4: 96-91

Tralee Warriors:

Donal O’Sullivan, Joshua Osayanrhion, Olaf Michalczuk, Evan Boyle, Gary Lynch, Eddie Sheehy, David Lucid, Eoin Creedon, Eli Fitzgerald, Brian O’Leary, Andrew Wallace, Phoenix Costello

Head Coach: Luke O’Hea   

Top Scorers: Olaf Michalczuk 33, Joshua Osayanrhion 24, Eddie Sheehy 13


Tom Sinnott, Cathal O’Sullivan, Ronan Little, Shanay Shah, Mark Keogh, Sheun Bamidele, James Janas, Nathan Comerford, Adam Walsh, Dean Kiernan, Viktor Lovic, Neil Coghlan

Head Coach: Ciaran O'Sullivan

Top Scorers: Cathal O’Sullivan 30, Neil Coghlan 22, Nathan Comerford 17