Title defence begins with crucial victory

Clark Eriksson Falkirk Fury v Glasgow University. Keith Bunyan. Pic by Gary Hutchison
Clark Eriksson Falkirk Fury v Glasgow University. Keith Bunyan. Pic by Gary Hutchison
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A strong second half performance from defending champions Clark Eriksson Fury Men saw them take a significant victory on the road at Glasgow University.

The student team have at times been a ‘bogey’ side for the Falkirk club – putting them out of the Scottish Cup in the first round in 2011 when Fury were holders, then defeating them the same season to halt their title bid.

So this opening season game was potentially a difficult match-up. However, the way Fury started dispelled the fears of a close game.

Fury Headcoach John Bunyan told Heraldsport: “ It was important we got the defence of our title off to a good start.

“We had some excellent individual performances from Scott Russell, Roni Gordon and Greg Foussas and Keith, Walter and Richard were solid throughout. For the first game of the season we will happily accept a 17 point win over a main challenger for the title.”

Out to a 23-15 first quarter lead and shooting 89 per cent from inside the arc, Fury’s inside threat was proving too much for the Glasgow side to handle.

Former pro Glasgow Rock Scott Russell was Fury’s best player with an impressive opening spell. However, Fury’s inability to keep the Uni side off the boards started to tell on the champions. No shots from the line, no threes and the two-point shooting percentage dropped to 44 per cent are significant stats contributing to Fury only leading by a single point 35-34 at half-time.

The third saw Fury connect from three point range through Jonny and Keith Bunyan. Frenchman Walter Lubeigt’s back-to-back inside plays half-way through the third gave Fury further momentum and a nine-point lead going into the final stanza.

Keith Bunyan hit an early three and the overall offensive and defensive play of Greek-born Greg Foussas took Fury clear to 20 points. Running their bench in the final minutes, Ross Munnoch had a quick two plus a free throw to give Fury a win to match rivals Edinburgh Kings and St.Mirren who had big wins over Stirling Knights and Troon respectively.