Narrow defeat for Junior Men against city rivals.
St Mirren Jnr Men........61 Glasgow Rens..............62 St Mirren Junior Men were edged out in a tight contest in the National League play-off quarter finals.
The Buddies FACEDWEST Coast rivals Glasgow Rens who are on a fine run of form, winning their last four games and only find themselves in a poor league position of seventh due to a poor start to the season.
The Saints were without the influential JackThompson and the young Brad Low, who injured himself earlier playing for the U16s. However, as they had comfortably beaten Rens three times during the season, the team were confident of getting a result, although they knew they were facing a much-improved squad.
Saints were first to score with a Robbie Stevenson three-pointer after only 15 seconds, however, after this Rens took control and the Saints were unable to find their scoring touch.
But Saints were unable to cope with the tenacious Rens defence and could not find the basket, however, a late Mikey Irvine three-pointer drew the Saints a little closer.
Rens finished the quarter strongly, but Robbie Stevenson scored twice from the free-throw line to give a disappointing first-quarter score of 14-22 in favor of the Rens.
Both teams upped their defensive work early in the second quarter, with baskets rare, the first scores of the quarter coming from Rens after two minutes.
Lewis Grant came on as the Saint's final sub and made an immediate impact scoring twice. However, Rens again enjoyed a strong finish and a number of late scores saw them eventually take the quarter 17-19, giving a half-time score of 31-41.
The third quarter was a tight and feisty affair and saw some strange refereeing decisions as tensions rose both off and on the court.
Both defences were strong and neither team was unable to impose themselves.
Again, as soon as the Saints started to eat into the Rens lead, they would allow the Glasgow side to score and the lead remained about the same.
A low-scoring quarter was tied at 10-10, with match score at end of third quarter 41-51. With a significant deficit of 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter the Saints needed to come out the blocks fast. Unfortunately the influential Ally Harris was fouled out as both defences stayed strong.
Stevenson scored the first basket of the quarter, however, the same story continued as the teams exchanged scores and Saints were unable to edge any closer and time was running out.
A Stevenson three-pointer, with four minutes remaining, took the Saints closer at 52-60 - and this glavanised them.
Another couple of scores and with time ticking Saints looked as though they might at last be able to pressurise the Rens, who started to make a few mistakes.
With a minute to go a Stevenson free throw took the score to 59-62 before a great score under pressure by Mikey Irvine took the Saints to 61-62, with only seconds left. Some great defense and possession gained, allowed Saints a chance to snatch victory however at least four attempts lipped out as the Rens held on for a tight win.
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|Publication:||Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)|
|Date:||Mar 19, 2018|
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