Falkirk Fury development squads outdone in Dundee

Fury have sent squads to Tayside with varying success
Fury have sent squads to Tayside with varying success

Clark Eriksson Fury under-14 girls development squad travelled to Dundee to take part in what was billed as the Club Super-10 National Challenge.

The top two club teams from each of the five Regional Development Leagues meet in a National Challenge weekend.

However the girls’ competition consisted of five club teams from the East/Central League and five from all the other Scottish Regions – highlighting the issue in women’s basketball across Scotland.

Fury’s group included Dunbar Dragons, Highland Bears, Stirling Knights and perennial National League rivals St.Mirren. This was by far the strongest of the two groups and with only two of the five teams progressing to the semi-final the players needed focus early on. That turned out to be Fury’s downfall with a loss in their first game by three points to Dunbar Dragons – but game two against Highland Bears saw their physical opponents under pressure early on from Fury’s Scotland International players Emma Norval and Carmen Tran. The match was close all the way and ended tied at 40 apiece at the buzzer. A “golden basket” was to settle the tie in overtime – but a foul tarnished Fury’s chances and gave the Bears a one-point win.

A win was registered with a 13-point advantage over Stirling Knights who had earlier defeated Dunbar Dragons meaning a win over Tournament favourites St. Mirren may be enough to add Fury to the semi-finals. But Saints’ strength and experience proved too much for Fury in the opening two quarters, giving them a 20-point lead. However Fury’s more experienced players won the second half as Saints went head to head against Fury with their top five players in the final two periods. There was clearly some frustration on the Saints side as Norval, Tran, Flora Smith, Ciera Martin and Cara Jackson took the game to Saints and showed the talent in the Falkirk side.

Finishing joint sixth the Falkirk side can take a lot from the competition with great performances from younger players Caitlin Owens, Gemma Anderson, Sophie Livingston, Rebecca Shaw and Emma Grainger.

Coached by Fury Junior womens player Holly Moffat throughout the season the girls will certainly go on to play National League basketball for the Clark Eriksson side.

A series of battling performances from the club’s male equivalent put the Falkirk side in the semi-final but they fell short.

Grouped with Glasgow Rocks, Tayside, Glasgow City and Highland, Fury – like the girls – had their work cut out to progress after losing their opening game 38-32 against eventual winners Glasgow Rocks. A 42-32 win against Tayside got Fury back on track and a win against Glasgow City was followed by a one-point loss to Highland Bears but Fury’s score count took them through to meet St.Mirren but in a close game Saints defeated Fury 36-26.

Defeat to Edinburgh Kings in their match for third was marred by the loss of Fury’s Scotland cap Alex Hall through injury. He still was named in the all-star team.