Procession of the Estates of the Scottish Parliament. From Atlas Historiques (1732).
Morton visit Dunfermline Athletic. 2014-15 was supposed to be an epic battle between the Pars and the Ton, but Dunfermline have pretty much not shown up. Morton have won all three matches.
Are Morton shoo-ins for the promotion playoffs? Pretty nearly. If they win only half of their remaining games they'll finish with 63 points. If fifth-place Dunfermline win all their remaining games they'll finish with 62.
Dunfermline is one of about a dozen locations to have housed a medieval Scottish parliament. The list of places, according to Wikipedia, runs: Edinburgh, Perth, Stirling, St Andrews, Dundee, Linlithgow, Dunfermline, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Berwick-upon-Tweed. David Hume of Godscroft, historian of the Douglases, puts one in Forfar. Which when you take them together would make a pretty decent football league. On a good year the Premiership might include seven of them; though this season there are five. The only two places that have never had teams in the SFL/SPFL are Linlithgow and St Andrews. Linlithgow in West Lothian is the site of Linlithgow Palace, and home to Linlithgow Rose FC, four-time winners of the Scottish Junior Cup, and the amateur side Linlithgow Thistle AFC. St Andrews has the University of St Andrews (founded 1410-13), St Andrews Cathedral (abandoned in 1561) and St Andrews United FC, winners of the 1959-60 Scottish Junior Cup.
Hearts have won the Championship title. But the League One title race will probably go to the final weekend. Stranraer, Morton and Forfar are neck and neck ... and neck. Of those three, Forfar have the easiest game today, against Stirling Albion. Also Forfar benefit from not having to play Morton or Stranraer again, which I think makes them narrow favourites to finish in first place.
League One is completely caught up on its postponed games. Rain and snow have not been a great inconvenience this winter, and the last time any League One club had a cup commitment was February 8th.
[Morton win 0 - 4. Goals by S. McCluskey, Kilday, McManus and Russell. Stranraer and Forfar both win, so Morton remain one point out of first place.]
Yesterday UCD AFC were away against Wexford Youths in League of Ireland First Division play. Wexford won 1 - 0.
The League of Ireland has twenty clubs, divided into two divisions. You would think: ten and ten. But in point of fact the Premier Division has twelve and the First Division eight. The big idea, I think, is to make the top division as solid and impressive as possible, but it's at the cost of leaving the bottom division short-arsed. With only seven opponents, the schedule is over at 28 games.
Montedio Yamagata visit Vissel Kobe in Nabisco League Cup group stage action today. [Kobe win 3 - 1.]
The snowball episode from The Tale of Genji, chapter 20, "Asagao", by Masao Ebina.
There was a heavy fall of snow. In the evening there were new flurries. The contrast between the snow on the bamboo and the snow on the pines was very beautiful. Genji's good looks seemed to shine more brightly in the evening light.
"People make a great deal of the flowers of spring and the leaves of autumn, but for me a night like this, with a clear moon shining on snow, is the best -- and there is not a trace of color in it. I cannot describe the effect it has on me, weird and unearthly somehow. I do not understand people who find a winter evening forbidding." He had the blinds raised.
The moon turned the deepest recesses of the garden a gleaming white. The flower beds were wasted, the brook seemed to send up a strangled cry, and the lake was frozen and somehow terrible. Into this austere scene he sent little maidservants, telling them that they must make snowmen. Their dress was bright and their hair shone in the moonlight. The older ones were especially pretty, their jackets and trousers and ribbons trailing off in many colors, and the fresh sheen of their black hair against the snow. The smaller ones quite lost themselves in the sport. They let their fans fall most immodestly from their faces. It was all very charming. Rather outdoing themselves, several of them found they had a snowball which they could not budge. Some of their fellows jeered at them from the east veranda.
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji (trans. Edward Seidensticker), page 357.
Kelea, of whom in the past the bards of Oahu and Maui loved to sing, was the beautiful but capricious sister of Kawao, king of Maui, who in about A.D. 1445, at the age of twenty-five, succeeded to the sovereignty of that island.
No sport was to her so enticing as a battle with the waves, and when her brother spoke to her of marriage she gaily answered that the surf-board was her husband, and she would never embrace any other.
King David Kalakaua, The Legends and Myths of Hawaii (Tuttle edition), pages 229 and 231.
The BBC's school drama Waterloo Road has just wrapped filming at the former Greenock Academy.
Ayr United visit Cappielow. Morton are in second place, one point behind Stranraer. Ayr are in ninth place, one point behind Stenhousemuir. But in three games Ayr have defeated Morton twice, with one draw.
Morton have lost their last two starts. They have not lost three successive league matches this season, not since the dark days of February and March 2014 when they lost six in a row and were relegated.
If Morton do not finish top, they will have to win two promotion playoffs to get into the Championship, a chance of 1 in 4. It'll give me more to write about in May, but from a fan point of view it would be better if they just finish first and earn automatic promotion.
[Morton win 2 - 1, thanks to some last minute heroics from McManus and Forbes. Stranraer also win, so Morton are still one point out of first place.]
More Scottish Junior Cup quarterfinals:
Hurlford United [3 - 1] Pollok
Yoker Athletic [2 - 3] Linlithgow Rose
Celtic and Dundee United meet for the fourth time in fifteen days. March 8th they played to a draw in their Scottish Cup quarterfinal. March 15th Celtic beat the Tangerines 2 - 0 to win the League Cup. March 18th Celtic knocked United out of the Scottish Cup. Today it's a Premiership match. [Celtic win 3 - 0.]