Falkirk Fury suffer title heartbreak
Falkirk Fury’s senior men basketball squad agonisingly missed out on the title as their defence of the Scottish Championship title came to an end after a narrow defeat to a youthful Stirling Knights side.
The Sony Centre-sponsored side lost 79-71 away from home against the Knights on the final day of Scottish Division 1 action.
Fury had been front-runners all season after early wins over title rivals Boroughmuir, Edinburgh Kings and St Mirren, but a single-point loss on the road to Kings and an 11-point home loss to St Mirren left them needing to win their last game of the season to still have a chance of retaining their title.
With six of their regular team out, they could not overcome a hard-working Knights outfit.
Down at the end of the first quarter by five, Fury pulled back to lead at the half by four points with a 43-39 scoreline. The second quarter saw veteran Scott Russell and Lithuanian forward Evaldis Burksaitis share 16 points as they pulled clear at the half.
The third period then saw Greg Foussas and Bantu Burroughs continue to battle to put points on the board, but it was not enough as the Knights headed into the final quarter with a five-point advantage.
The hosts held out to narrowly win the match and take any title ambitions out of Fury’s hands.
Speaking to the Herald, head coach John Bunyan said: “This was a tough game for us and full credit to the Knights for getting a rare win over us. You can only play who is in front of you.
"I thought Scott did a fantastic job for us and showed skills at both ends of the floor.
"Evaldis was not fully fit, but give him credit, he wanted to play. He knew how important the game was for us and that we were low on numbers and made key contributions, again at both ends of the floor.
"All our players worked tirelessly but we came up short and we move on to our Scottish Cup semi-final against St Mirren in seven days’ time.”
The match against St Mirren takes place at Linwood Sport Centre tomorrow with a 7.20pm start.