Sony Centre Fury 92 v 84 St Mirren

Senior Men National League Division 1

St Mirren West College Scotland Senior Men travelled to Falkirk on Friday night to attempt to take the lead in the National League into the new year.  Saints and Falkirk both had one loss in the league before the start of this game.  Saints for the first time in a number of weeks managed to put the whole squad together, with Nick Collins and Euan Glass still trying to recover full fitness.

Young point guard Fergus Harte in his first season in the league was promoted to the starting line up in an effort to change the Saints approach and move the scoring balance in the team.  Chris Barron and Scott Armstrong remained along with Dave Johnston and Craig Stamp.  The game got underway with anther lost tip and the home team making their first 3 pointer of the night for the early lead, Saints Harte made a couple of early scores as the game got off to a slow start.  Both teams took time to settle to any kind of rhythm.  First to settle was Falkirk as Saints hit some early foul trouble and never really looked comfortable.  26-15 behind at the break left Saints staring at the game being over before it really started.
Saints introduced some familiar faces to the game with Dale Grieve and Chris Cleary stepping on the floor led by veteran guard Colin Railley and the fight back began.  Falkirk did start the period with another 3 pointer but so did Saints Grieve and then the points just flowed as Cleary hit followed by Railley with his 3 pointer from the corner, then Barron and Johnston chipped in.  The points kept going in, unlike the opening period, and the comeback was complete with another 30 points on the scoreboard as Saints headed to the locker room at only 45-46 behind.
The third period no longer the Saints grave yard provided more of the same as Barron led the way with Railley and Nick Collins providing the support.  The home team kept in touch as each time Saints had the chance to extend the score another 3 pointer would hit the score board.  Home town veterans Keith Bunnion and Greg Foussas used all their experience to keep their team going as they hung on. Saints again took the quarter at 24-19 for a  69-65 lead going into the final period.
A quick score from Foussas and then a 3 pointer from Bunnion wiped out the Saints lead in the first minute of the period.  Saints had to dig in again as Grieve provided a score to stay in touch at 75-71, then the Bunnion bomb dropped as he hit another 3 pointer and got fouled to make the bonus in a 4 point play which instantly left Saints 8 points adrift at a critical time in the game.  Saints threw everything into the next few minutes but made little impression, a time out and further substitutions could not swing the balance back to Saints.  Heading for the last minute at 89-80 Saints resorted to fouling to stop the clock and Barron did make a big 3 pointer but Saints then could not make the next one as Falkirk kept control and closed the game out at 92-84.  A good Saints performance to go into the Christmas break in second place in the national league, only one loss behind Falkirk.  Saints scoring on the night was unusual in that the bulk of the points instead of falling to two or three players were spread over six players all making double digits.
Barron and Collins had 15points, Cleary 12, Grieve and Harte 11 and Railley 10.
Boroughmuirs return to form and victory over Edinburgh in the other big game of the night should make the remainder of the season very interesting with the championship far from decided. - anonymous

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