Falkirk Fall 1-2 as Rocks take the W
Falkirk Fury made the trip to Cumbernauld on Wednesday night to face Lady Rocks. Both clubs come into the fixture on a 1-1 record, after Rocks suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of title favourites, The City of Edinburgh Kool Kats. Fury, however, come off a good win against Polonia Phoenix last time out after starting their season with a loss to Glasgow Fever. Fury will be glad to welcome back Shannon Flippard from injury.
The game started on a slow foot, with both teams excelling on the defensive end and keeping each others offence to a minimum. Lady Rocks’ big 3 Van Wees, Strain and McKeown were all unable to get the Cumbernauld side off the mark early.
Fury had their own troubles as Flockhart and Flippard were struggling to hit anything, relying on Coach Bunyan’s faith in the youth to turn things around.
8-6 at the end of the first to the home town team.
Rocks Head Coach Haldane had stern words for his girls at the interval, as he looked for a better performance on the offensive end. Stern words ringing in their ears, they got off to a flyer, notching up 11 quick points as they smothered Falkirk in their own half.
Fury couldn’t cope with the pressure and turnover became an issue as Rocks’ feasted off the easy looks, running out to a 17-9 lead in the first 3 minutes. Eventually, Fury regained some composure, but the damage had been done as the half closed out 39-18.
Everything was dropping in for the Rocks to start the second half, fadeaways, off-balance shots, shots falling away from the basket, deep deep three’s, the lot. They all fell. The crowd loved it.
Former Tayside Musketeer, Yhanna Van Wees, was draining it from behind the arc, notching up consecutive 3’s, showing her new team why they signed her.
Fury mustered a few replies from the perimeter from their senior players but it only made a tiny scratch in the scoring gap. Kim Flockhart got loud in a huddle to get her squad back into action, having come back from deficits like this before, she had the experience. Alas, Nadele Strain and Shannon McAuley made sure Rocks held their lead as we went into the final period with the home side leading, 54-33.
Like most buckets in basketball, things come in two’s. We had 2 great offensive quarters, but, the final quarter started like the first as both teams hunkered down on defence to try get the W.
Fury had a long road back, but Coach Bunyan and his squad were determined. The comeback started midway through as they closed the gap within 12, after the youth products shone through.
The depth of Lady Rocks’ bench eliminated any chance of a comeback, behind some impressive play from Lisa Haldane, Van Wees and Erin Gilbride to end the game, Rocks held on for a comfortable 65-47 win.
Post game, The Church of Hoops caught up with both coaches. John Bunyan, Falkirk Fury, was humble in defeat, recognising areas of weakness, saying:
“While you are never happy with a loss, our team can take a number of positives from the game and clearly a number of areas we need to continue to work on. After what was a ‘dour’ first quarter for both teams, 8-6 to the Rocks – clearly, I was happy about our defence but felt we could have led the period had we executed to even 50% of our capability.”
As reported above, the second quarter was where the damage was made, Bunyan saying,
“Credit to the Rocks in the second period which is where we lost the game, they shot well from the perimeter against our D and allowed them far too much in transition. We won the second half and credit to the players for really working hard on defence and the fact we made Rocks play right to the final whistle.”
Youth is something that is shining through within the Fury senior squad, as eyes look to the future. Bunyan commented on their roles within the squad,
“Our young players – Eabha Kerr, Abby Rutter -both still cadettes played well and Katie McEwan – a junior who has had regular minutes from last season are an integral part of our team now and I think that reflects well on the clubs development of young players. We are now at 1-2 for the season and for over 3 periods of the game we held our own and thats to be expected from the squad w have which also has a great deal of experience.
Congrats to the Rocks and I know we can develop as the season progresses and compete at the top of the Championship.”
Watch our interview with Lady Rocks Colin Haldane below!
See the full picture gallery here.