The situation: Morton are third in the division, well within the Premiership playoff zone. Ayr are ninth with 20 points, but they would be eighth under a different scoring system (see below). So far this season Morton and Ayr have beaten each other once.
What was Morton's best ever result against Ayr United? 7 - 0, Dec 10, 1949, at Cappielow. What was Ayr United's best result against Morton? 0 - 6, Jan 2, 2001, at Cappielow.
The top four Championship clubs are Visitors today, so there could be some upsets.
Thomas Orr has been loaned out to BSC Glasgow.
Today's game is on BBC Alba.
How many games have Ayr United played against the other 2016-17 Championship clubs in Scottish League play?
Raith Rovers 140
St Mirren 98
Dundee United 68
The rivalry betweenAyr United(1910 - ) and the oldAirdrieonians(1878-2002) is now a closed book.Who won?
League. In 125 matches Airdrieonians won 62, Ayr United 34, with 29 draws.
Scottish Cup. Airdrieonians knocked Ayr United out 4 times, Ayr knocked Airdrieonians out twice.
League Cup. In group stage action, Airdrieonians won 3 of 4. In the 1954-55 quarterfinal Airdrieonians knocked Ayr out.
Challenge Cup. Airdrieonians knocked Ayr out in their one meeting in 1994-95.
Buchan Cup. One win and a draw for Airdrie.
Conclusion: Airdrieonians owned Ayr United.
(What was the Buchan Cup? It was a pre-season cup competition played at Peterhead's Recreation Park at least twice -- 1990-91 and 1991-92 -- with at least Ayr United, Airdrieonians and Fraserburgh participating. That's all I know.)
[Morton win 1 - 4. Morton goals by Forbes (2) and Oliver (2). Morton are three points out of second place, with a game in hand.]
Current away winless streaks.
0 Hibs, Dunfermline, Falkirk, QoS
2 St Mirren, Morton
3 Dumbarton, Dundee United
5 Raith Rovers
6 Ayr United
The current Championship standings if a win = 1, a draw = 0, and a loss = -1:
Dundee United 7
Raith Rovers -1
Ayr United -5
St Mirren -10
What does it take to finish third in the Championship? Let's look at through the past ten years:
2015-16 21W 7D 8L +25gd 70pts Hibs
2014-15 19W 10D 7L +30gd 67pts Rangers
2013-14 19W 9D 8L +26gd 66pts Falkirk
2010-11 17W 7D 12L +16gd 58pts Falkirk
2007-08 15W 13D 8L +15gd 58pts St Johnstone
2009-10 17W 7D 12L +10gd 58pts Dunfermline
2006-07 16W 5D 15L +6gd 53pts Dundee
2012-13 15W 8D 13L +4gd 53pts Falkirk
2011-12 13W 13D 10L +5gd 52pts Falkirk
2008-09 14W 9D 13L +8gd 51pts Dunfermline
Morton's projected final totals:
2Q16-17 16.2W 12.6D 7.2L +16.2gd 61.2pts
Morton's projected points total is better than seven and worse than three of the third place teams of the past decade.
So, the question was: Which Swiss Challenge League club is most like Greenock Morton?
1) If a club has won the Swiss Cup once and only once, the club receives a point. 2) If a club's stadium overlooks the water, the club receives a point. 3) If a club has had a brush with insolvency in the 21st Century, the club receives a point. 4) If a club has a cantonal rival in the Challenge League this year, the club receives a point. 5) If a club's stadium is beside the train tracks, the club receives a point.
6) If a club has spent at least 40 years in the second tier since 1931, the club receives a point. 7) If a club has not played in the top tier in the 21st Century, the club receives a point. 8) If a club has been in UEFA competition once and only once, the club receives a point. 9) If a club has a blue and white colour scheme, it gets a point.
10) The club whose stadium capacity is closest to Cappielow's receives a point. 11) The club whose date of foundation makes it the second oldest club in the Challenge League receives a point. (This one was a three-way tie.) 12) The club whose town population is 8th largest in the Challenge League gets a point. 13) The club whose last major honour is closest in date to Morton's gets a point.
Aarau 1) 3) 4) 6)
Chiasso 5) 6) 7)
Geneve Servette 3) 5)
Le Mont 5) 7)
Neuchâtel Xamax 2) 3) 10)
Schaffhausen 6) 11)
Wil 1) 8)
Winterthur 4) 6) 7) 11) 13)
Wohlen 4) 7) 9) 12)
Zürich 4) 9) 11)
Conclusion: Winterthur is most Mortonlike. In recognition of this, let's follow Winterthur (pronounced Vintertur) for the rest of the season. The Challenge League takes a January break, so their next game is on February 4th against Chiasso.
Copa Libertadores, first stage, second leg:
Montevideo Wanderers 5 - 2 Universitario de Sucre
Independiente del Valle 2 - 2 Deportivo Municipal
Deportivo Táchira 0 - 0 Deportivo Capiatá
Wanderers, Independiente and Capiatá advance.
OFC Champions League. FIFA divides the soccer world into six domains. The Oceania Football Confederation, the smallest, is made up of Pacific island nations. But like the much larger European and Asian federations it too has a champions league. Today is the first day of play in the qualification round of the 2017 OFC Champions League. Today's matches are:
Utulei Youth (American Samoa) [3 - 4] Lupe o le Soaga (Samoa)
Veitongo (Tonga) [0 - 4] Puaikura (Cook Islands)
The AFC Champions League began midweek with a single match between Global of Manila and Tampines Rovers of Singapore. Last year's winner Jeonbuk has been excluded from the 2017 competition due to their role in a referee-bribing scandal in Korea. [Global won 2 - 0.]
The Japan Ice Hockey League, or J-Ice, is the second tier of hockey competition in Japan, below the multinational professional Asia League in which four Japanese clubs compete, and is about on a par with the university leagues. It's made up of six regional divisions: North, Northwest, East, Central, West, and South. The North and West divisions were established in 2005, the others in this decade.
J-ICE North Division is the strongest of the six divisions. There are six teams in five Hokkaido cities:
Kushiro Kousei-sya IHC. They play at Nippon Paper Ice Arena, capacity 3,000, which is also the home rink for Kushiro Tobu Blaze, and the Asia League's Nippon Paper Cranes. They wear red, black and white. Team owner Kushiro Kousei-sya is a waste management company. Kushiro is on Hokkaido's east coast, not far from Obihiro.
Tadano IHC. Founded in 1992, they are the company team for Tadano Corporation, manufacturers of industrial cranes. Their home rink, Obihiro no Mori Ice Arena in Obihiro, in eastern Hokkaido, can accommodate 2,500 spectators. Blue, white and black.
Skate House Sapporo IHC. They play at Sapporo's Tsukisamu Gymnasium, a facility built for the 1972 Olympics, which includes a rink with room for 3,371 spectators. Black, gray, white and blue.
Nippon Steel Sumikin Muroran. Muroran is a city in southern Hokkaido, and the location of the Japan Steel Works. Blue uniform. Their home rink is Muroran City Nakajima Sports Center.
Kushiro Tobu Blaze. Yellow and red. Nippon Paper Ice Arena.
Toyota Motor Hokkaido. Blue, gold and white. Their home rink is Tomakomai Shiratori Oyuko Ice Arena. The Asia League's Oji Eagles are also from Tomakomai, in southern Hokkaido.