Peterhead Prison is to Scotland as Abashiri Prison is to Japan. Beginning in 1882, Peterhead was where Scotland's most hardcore criminals wound up, and during World War One, its Communists. John Mclean was one of the latter category, imprisoned for making antiwar speeches in 1918. In 1907 he wrote a pamphlet called The Greenock Jungle about slaughter-house conditions on the Clyde.
Greenock Morton visit Peterhead at Balmoor. This is their third meeting of the season. Each has taken one win off the other. Morton are in second place, one point behind Stranraer. Peterhead are sixth, six points out of a playoff spot. High winds could cause the postponement of quite a few matches today, so it could be Morton's chance to grab first place while other teams run for shelter. [Weather not a factor anywhere.]
As the three-quarter mark of the schedule approaches, four clubs have a real shot at winning the division: Stranraer, Morton, Forfar and Brechin, with Dunfermline an unlikely fifth.
[Morton win 1 - 3. Goals by McManus (2) and Caldwell. Stranraer also win, so Morton remain one point behind. Stirling lose and can finish the season no better than fifth. Morton cannot finish tenth.]
[Hearts beat Cowdenbeath 10 - 0.]
On Thursday Inter Milan beat Celtic 1 - 0. Celtic are out of the Europa League.
Today in Japan it's the Fuji Xerox Super Cup. This event, which kicks off the domestic Japanese football season, ideally matches the J1 champion and the winner of the Emperor's Cup. But in the event that a club has taken the Double, like Gamba Osaka just did, the J1 runners-up are invited to fill in. Consequently today's match is between Gamba and Urawa Red Diamonds.
Gamba Osaka actually won the Treble. They were League Cup winners too.
Gamba have won the Super Cup once, in 2007, after winning the J League championship. Urawa Red Diamonds have won it four times, twice as league champions, once as Emperor's Cup winners, and once as Emperor's Cup runners-up. (Before 2009 in the event of a Double it was the Emperor's Cup runners-up who played.)
[Gamba win 2 - 0.]
Both clubs were also in AFC Champions League group stage action this week. Here are all the results involving Japanese teams:
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 0 - 0 Kashiwa Reysol
Gamba Osaka 0 - 2 Guangzhou R&F
Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2 - 1 Urawa Red Diamonds
Kashima Antlers 1 - 3 Western Sydney Wanderers
[Today also saw the playing of the President's Cup, a supercup between the League Ireland champions Dundalk and the FAI Cup winners St. Patrick's Athletic. This is only the second year for this new cup competition. Dundalk won 2 - 1.]
[No plans yet for Osaka and Dundalk to meet.]