National League

Apr 14 2024

Tralee Warriors win inaugural BIDL Men’s title, with 86-70 win over Carrick Cruisers

Tralee Warriors are the inaugural BIDL Men’s champions, defeating Carrick Cruisers 86-70 at the National Basketball Arena. The Kerry club had to withstand a fourth quarter comeback from Carrick Cruisers, before MVP Aaron Fleming rattled off three big threes in the final minutes to help seal victory.

Having won the U20 Men’s National League on Saturday, it completes a double for the Kerry club, with three of their U20’s in the BIDL starting 12 - Joshua Osayanrhion, Olaf Michalczuk and Brian O’Leary.

Tralee Warriors started well and were 23-12 up after the opening quarter and they took a commanding 33-17 lead following Osayanrhion’s basket three minutes into the second quarter. However Carrick Cruisers, who won the Men’s National Intermediate Cup Competition in January responded with a nine point run, kickstarted by Andrew O’Connor’s three. A pair of threes from James Fernane in the last two minutes of the quarter helped Tralee Warriors to a 41-30 lead at half-time.

 Garvey's Tralee Warriors Andrew Fernane and Carrick Cruiser's Andrew O'Connor in action

Ramunas Ramanauskas was prominent in the third quarter, his pair of baskets had Carrick Cruisers back within three, 50-47, with just under four minutes to go in the third. Danas Smigelskis also scored 11 points for the Monaghan club, however it was Tralee Warriors still ahead, 59-52, going into the final quarter. 

 Carrick Cruiser's Ramunas Ramanauskas in action

A pair of Andrew O’Connor free throws brought the game level at 62-62, he followed shortly with a dunk, to put his side in front for the first time in the game, 64-62, with six and a half minutes to go.

It was tense, Tralee came back with a 11 point run, started by Steve Bowler’s layup. He gestured wildly to the Tralee Warriors support, before slotting in his additional free throw. The run also included a lovely fast break and dunk from Osayanrhion and concluded with Fleming’s three point jump shot, to put Tralee Warriors 75-64 up with 2’44 left. 

Ramanauskas snapped the Kerry clubs run, but back-to-back threes from Fleming put Tralee Warriors in control, leading 83-68 with a little over a minute to go and they weren’t to be caught.


 Andrew Fleming claims his MVP award at the end of the game, presented by Paul Barrett

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 86–70 Carrick Cruisers    

Quarter Scores: Q1: 23-12, Q2: 41-30, Q3: 59-52, Q4: 86-70

Tralee Warriors:

Joshua Osayanrhion, Aaron Fleming, Olaf Michalczuk, Zygimantas Kaletka, James Fernane, John Feely, Adam O’Keefe, Daire Kennelly, Brian O’Leary, Steve Bowler, Daniel Bowler, Padraig Fleming

Head Coach: Rick Leonard     

Top Scorers: Aaron Fleming 22, James Fernane 19, Joshua Osayanrhion 16,

Carrick Cruisers:

Danas Smigelskis, Daniel Garrido, Justin Rosagaran, Audrius Urbanavicius, Andrew O’Connor, Killian McAdam, Kestas Jonusas, Ignas Vaisvila, Ramunas Ramanauskas, Rimvydas Valantonis, Vitalijus Kaminskas

Head Coach: Martin Provizors

Top Scorers: Ramunas Ramanauskas 27, Andrew O’Connor 19, Danas Smigelskis 12