Fury's 20 point comeback not enough
It was not until the final quarter that Fury's Junior Men looked as though they could achieve a historical treble winning season. Down 20 points and well into the fourth quarter it looked game over, as it had done for most of the game for the Falkirk side.
With the Division 1 Championship and Scottish Cup titles already won, on the back of a 17-1 regular season, Fury were the hot favorites to make it a treble by adding the play-off title.
The Sony sponsored side had twice defeated the Stirling side in the Championship – the second meeting by a whopping 50 points, but their form in the semi-final and indeed throughout the season, had shown they were at times vulnerable in the opening period. This proved the case as Fury went a massive 27-12 down and a low scoring second period won again by the Knights 17-14, meant the Falkirk side were 18 down at the half.
Adam Rutter had opened Fury’s scoring with back to back three’s but two quick fouls called on him forced him out the game early. Indeed that was to be the pattern of the game with at one stage Fury having been called for 20 fouls to the Knights’ three – a situation that had never been seen throughout the whole season, much to the frustration of Fury players, coaches and fans.
The third saw Fury take 18-17 and reduce the gap to 17 going into the last quarter.
However the Knights continued to hit Fury on the break and have a strong perimeter game. With seven minutes remaining and the Knights ahead by 20, Fury suddenly found their form as they stormed back. Sardar Pandher found his way to the basket with driving lay-ups and Rutter and Sam Owens reducing the gap with some great three point shooting.
The urgency of Daneil Olubalade again helped Fury as they started to press the Knights and the game went to a single figure deficit. With both sets of fans willing their team on, in what was a sporting contest, Fury continued to have the momentum and with minutes to play the score was at 66-66 – a sensational 20-point comeback.
With both sides now pushing for what would be key baskets, Fury failed to capitalize in opportunities to lead the game, and Knights saw the game out.
Adam Rutter was Fury and the games top scorer on 20 points with Sam Owens on 14, both players hitting fours. Jordan Ferguson worked tirelessly throughout and came up with 10 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Mitchell Stirling, Olubalade, Pandher, Kieran Allan, Scott Lothian, James Kerr and Ben Small all made big contributions, but full credit to Stirling side who came out on fire were solid in transition and ultimately deserved the win. Completing Fury’s squad on the day were Louis Smith and Nathan Cuthbert.