AN uncharacteristically slow start for Ayr Storm U16 men was to prove their downfall away in Dalry facing Ayrshire Tornadoes.

The home side came out and pressed from the start and forced early turnovers, which combined with missed shots by Ayr led to a 10pt gap quickly opening. Once Mathew Keegan got some points on the board for Ayr, confidence seemed to return, but Tornadoes still found space to stretch the lead and take the first period 26-11.

Period two was more like the Storm that coach Danny Gibbons expected - challenging in the passing lanes, finding the right pass and hitting the key shots. Tornadoes though were still dominating in the paint, while also shooting well from the perimeter and took the period 23-17 to lead by 21 at the half.

The performance from Storm improved again in Period Three and Four - Tornadoes took the third by just 2 pts (19-17) and Storm took the fourth by two points (18-16) so it was the slow start and low scoring in the first half that was to be the cause of Ay's demise. FT Ayrshire Tornadoes 84 Ayr Storm 63. Coach Danny Gibbons after the game said "we met a team who got into their rhythm a lot quicker than us today. Even with a couple of players out through injury/illness and availability, we should have coped better. We will look at the positives of the second half display where the score was tied and build on that."

Squad v Tornadoes: Gibbons (20pts), Lang (4), Tomba (4), Smith (8), Wheeler, Martin (2) Pirie, Keegan (25).

The SM Ayr Masters found themselves with four players out with injury and 2 unavailable - so called on the youth of the Cadet team to bolster the bench when they faced Renfrew Rocks 3.

This was to turn out key - as the Rocks squad average age is around the 21mark. This did not put off long distance member Iain Leitch, who is based in Bristol - and he led the line with an performance that rolled back the years. Combined with a display in the art of rebounding from Billy Reid and Danny Gibbons - the Rocks side were not getting any 2nd look chances and Storm led by one - 23-22.

Period Three saw Jim Connor help create space in the offensive end and then the cadets of Matthew Morrison and Paul Gibbons made some key baskets to drive Ayr ahead - with Reid and Leitch also chipping in baskets to help win the period 12-4 and give Ayr a nine-point lead to protect in the final period.

Controlling the pace of the game, this was going well till in the closing minutes it looked like Rocks decision to go to a high intensity press may pay off when they got a steal and hit a big three to make it a one point game again - but experience of the Masters quickly slowed things down and they opened the gap again to four and saw the game out. Full-time: Ayr Masters 45 Renfrew Rocks 41.

Squad v Rocks: Gibbons P (13pts), Gibbons D (4), Reid (9), Connor, Leitch (9), Thomson, Kerr, Ferguson, Morrison C (2), Morrison M (8), Smith.