Nine million years ago Hungary was underwater. The Pannonian Sea, like the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and late lamented Aral Sea, was a relic of the ocean that used to separate northern Eurasia from Africa, Arabia and India before they all crashed together and created the Alps, the mountains of Turkey and Iran, and the Himalayas. Source.
A plan of Leith, showing the French fortifications of 1560. Source.
Morton visit Hibs at Easter Road. This game was originally scheduled for March 4th but got bumped by Hibs' Scottish Cup quarter-final against Ayr.
The situation. Hibs sit atop the division, ten points ahead of second-place Falkirk and third-place Morton, and eleven ahead of Dundee United. The very worst Hibs could finish is fourth. After Saturday's win against Falkirk coupled with Dunfermline's win at Cappielow there's little chance of Hibs not winning the division title.
Morton want to get points off Hibs to finish second and leap over the playoff quarterfinals. Morton do not yet have a league win against Hibernian. Dundee United got one, but Falkirk got none. Both of those clubs have played their four Hibs games; Morton have two left including today's.
[0 - 0. The single point lifts Morton into second place. Match report. Because it's Hibs the Scotsman has three articles on the game.]
What are the 21st-Century highlights for Hibernian FC?
Scottish Cup won 2015-16
League Cup won 2006-07
League Premier League, 3rd place 2000-01, 2004-05
Challenge Cup Round Four 2016-17
Which clubs have played the most games against Hibs in the 2010s?
24 Hearts, St Mirren
19 Rangers, Dundee United
18 Aberdeen, Kilmarnock
16 Inverness CT, Falkirk
How are Hibs like Greenock Morton?
Leith is a port town.
What was Morton's record against Gretna FC?
Gretna entered the SFL in 2002 and resigned in 2008. During that brief time they marched from the Third Division to the Premier League, fueled by Brooks Mileson's millions or perhaps hundreds of thousands or maybe less. Their rise corresponded closely to Morton's more modest recovery from financial crisis, and the two clubs found themselves in competition on several occasions.
2002-03 found them both in the Third Division. Morton won two league matches with two draws against Gretna. Morton won the division; Gretna finished sixth.
Two years later they met in the first round of the League Cup. Morton won.
In 2005-06 they met in the first round of the Challenge Cup. Morton won. They were also now both members of the Second Division. Gretna beat Morton twice, Morton took one win, and there was a draw. Gretna finished in first place and were promoted. Second-place Morton lost to Peterhead in the newly-instituted promotion playoffs. Had this been 2004-05 Morton would have been promoted automatically.
In 2007-08, Gretna's Premier League season, they met in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. The first game ended in a tie. Morton won the replay.
Which clubs have won the Scottish league title? Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Dumbarton, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Dundee, Dundee United, Third Lanark.
Which clubs have won the Scottish league title and the Scottish Cup? Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Dumbarton, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Dundee, Dundee United, Third Lanark.
Which clubs have won the Scottish league title, the Scottish Cup, and the League Cup? Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Dundee, Dundee United.
Which clubs have won the Scottish league title, the Scottish Cup, the League Cup, and the Challenge Cup? Rangers, Dundee, Dundee United.
Which clubs have won the Scottish title, the Scottish Cup, the League Cup, the Challenge Cup, and the Forfarshire Cup? Dundee, Dundee United.
Invergordon FC have won the North Caledonian Football League. Although the North Caledonian league is one step below the Highland League there's no formal promotion mechanism between them.
A Meiji-era map of Yokohama, housed in the McLean Museum, Greenock. Source.
Morton host Dunfermline. This match was originally scheduled for a midweek evening earlier in the month, but when both teams' original opponents for today wound up in the Challenge Cup final Morton and Dunfermline jumped at the vacant Saturday. This is their third meeting of the year. Each side has a win so far.
Morton are hot, with only one loss in league play in 2017. The Pars are a little cooler, with two 2017 losses. They specialize in playing higher-up clubs to a draw, and are prepared to play the spoiler.
Morton have played 27 of their 36 scheduled league matches. They have 13 wins, 9 draws and 5 losses, and are on track for a 64 point season. If they win or draw today they will have avoided defeat at Cappielow for over a year.
Match of the day is Hibs vs Falkirk. This is Falkirk's last chance to get a win against Hibs. Morton still have two games to play against the division leaders. Falkirk's Fraser Aird, the star of this week's Scotland-Canada friendly (see below), will be playing, but two of Hibernian's squad who play for Scotland, not Canada, are away on international duty. [Hibs 2 - 1 Falkirk.]
What are Dunfermline's 21st-Century highlights?
Scottish Cup runners-up 2003-04, 2006-07
League Cup runners-up 2005-06
League Premier League, 4th place 2003-04
Challenge Cup runners-up 2007-08
How often have Dunfermline met the other 2016-17 Championship clubs in league play?
Dundee United 138
Raith Rovers 97
Ayr United 96
St Mirren 91
How is Dunfermline Athletic like Greenock Morton?
DAFC has two Scottish Cups to Morton's one, they have been runners-up in the League Cup three times to Morton's once, and have been Challenge Cup runners-up once to Morton's once. They have been to Europe nine times to Morton's once.
East End Park is a modern all-seater, but it is the Championship stadium closest in capacity to Cappielow, and it has natural grass. While Greenock is a former shipbuilding town; Dunfermline is a former weaving town.
The Pars are recently returned from the Seaside League, like Morton.
Also, it's the final of the Challenge Cup: Dundee United vs St Mirren at Fir Park in Motherwell.
St Mirren beat the Tangerines in league play ten days ago.
St Mirren won the Challenge Cup in 2005-06, and also reached the final in 1993-94. Dundee United made the final in 1995-96. Both clubs have spent large swaths of time in the Premier League and thus have been out of Challenge League competition.
Nine different clubs have won the Challenge Cup in the past decade, the two-time winner being Ross County.
Has the Challenge Cup final ever come down to the two clubs that would finish first and second in the First Division/Championship? Yes. In 2009-10 the final was between Dundee and Inverness CT. Dundee won the cup, but Inverness won the division.
[Tangerines 2 - 1 Buddies.]
Last over first. Since 1993-94, when the ten-team second tier now called the Championship began, has any team finished last but with a winning record against the first-place team? No. The closest thing was in 2008-09 when last-place Clyde took a win and a draw from first-place St Johnstone. Since 1993-94, how many different clubs have won the division? Sixteen. How many different clubs have finished last? Seventeen. How many have done both? Two. Raith Rovers and Ross County.
Scotland played Canada at Easter Road Wednesday. 1 - 1. Match report.
The University of Edinburgh has a team in the Lowland League. Heriot-Watt University has a team in the East of Scotland League. The University of Stirling has teams in the Lowland League and the East of Scotland League.
Edinburgh has won the Queen's Park Shield 28 times, Stirling 12 1/2 times (they shared it with Dundee in 1984), Heriot-Watt 6 1/2 times (they shared with Glasgow in 1973), and Abertay never has.
All-time Queen's Park Shield standings:
18 1/2 Glasgow
12 1/2 Stirling
6 1/2 Heriot-Watt
3 St Andrew's
2 Edinburgh Napier
1 1/2 Dundee
What are the mottos of the semi-finalists?
Abertay: Beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam (Blessed is the man who finds wisdom)
Edinburgh: Nec Temere Nec Timide (Neither recklessly nor timidly)
Stirling: Innovation and Excellence (which would be: Innovatione et virtute)
Heriot-Watt: ain't got one (Non habent)
SWFL Division 2 West tomorrow: Morton [9 - 0] Stranraer
After three weeks Vanraure are second in the JFL with 9 points and a +4 gd. ReinMeer are ninth with 4 points and a -1 gd.
Geography class. How many cities in Aomori Prefecture do we know now? Aomori, Hachinohe, Gonohe, Hirosaki.
Football in Yokohama. Yokohama is a port city of 3 or 4 million people a little southwest of Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture. It has three J League clubs.
Yokohama F. Marinos play in J1, and are the result of the 1999 merger of Yokohama Marinos (founded in 1972 as Nissan Motors FC) and their crosstown rivals Yokohama Flügels (founded in 1964 as All Nippon Airways FC).
Disaffected Flügels supporters formed Yokohama FC in 1999. They are currently in J2.
YSCC (Yokohama Sports and Culture Club), founded in 1986, play in J3.
This is a pair of craters so close to each other that they form one lake, and were long thought to have been formed by a pair of gravitationally bound asteroids, but analysis of the surrounding rock puts them about 180 million years apart. Source.
Paolo Forlani's map of Scotia, printed in 1560. You can explore it in detail here.
Morton visit St Mirren, in Paslei.
Morton hold third place in the Championship with 27 points, ahead of Falkirk on goal difference.
The Buddies have managed two wins in eighteen starts, putting them on track for four wins and 22 points overall by the end of the schedule. They've scored 17 goals and allowed 33 and are 6 points out of ninth place. These numbers raise the question: Is this St Mirren's worst season ever? Let's apply some criteria.
1) Longest wait for the first league win.
2016-17 Dec 6
1983-84 Oct 29
1942-43 Oct 17
1920-21 Oct 9
2013-14 Oct 5
1964-65 Oct 3
2) Fewest wins in a season.
1899-00 3W (18 games) .167
1966-67 4W (34 games) .118
1990-91 5W (36 games) .139
1890-91 5W (22 games) .227
1900-01 5W (20 games) .250
1895-96 5W (18 games) .278
1890-91 5W (18 games) .278
1991-92 6W (44 games) .136
Four wins in 36 games would be their worst ever.
3) Fewest goals in a season.
1966-67 25 (34 games) .74 per game
2007-08 26 (38 games) .68 per game
1989-90 28 (36 games) .78 per game
1990-91 28 (36 games) .78 per game
1901-02 29 (18 games) 1.61 per game
4) Most rungs below Morton.
1966-67 looks pretty bad. The Buddies finished 17th out of 18 in Division One, with 4 wins and a goal difference of -56, and were relegated to Divison Two (in the days when there were only two divisions).
In the three-division and four-division eras, when was the last time St Mirren fell below the second tier? They never have.
What is Morton's best result against St Mirren? Morton won 8 - 0 at Cappielow Jan 1, 1943, in Southern League play. St Mirren beat Morton 7 - 0 at Love Street, Feb 5, 1938 in league play; and 8 - 0 at Love Street, Sept 4, 1934, in the Renfrewshire Cup.
How often have Morton played on Hogmanay? 18 times before today. They have 8 wins, 4 draws, and 6 losses on December 31st. The most recent occasion was New Year's Eve 2005, when Morton beat Forfar 0 - 1. The first time was:
1898-99. On December 31st, 1898, Morton visited Ayr FC and lost 1 - 0.
Glasgow Herald, January 2, 1899 (page 8):
AYR V. GREENOCK MORTON.--At Somerset Park, Ayr. Teams:--Ayr--Baxter; Millar and Wills; Aitken, Ballantyne, and Davidson; M'Cartney and Dempsey; Speirs, Lyall, and Owen. Morton--M'Pherson; Anderson and Orr; Calligan, Henderson, and Blair; Dale and Hunter; M'Culloch, Linn and Reid. Referee--Traill, Port-Glasgow. The run of the play in the first half was in favour of the visitors, who, however, were deficient at goal. Twice or thrice Ayr caused M'Pherson some trouble, but generally speaking the forwards were very weak. At half-time there was no scoring. On resuming more life was put into the game, but it was not till within 15 minutes of the close that the first and only goal of the match was scored for Ayr by Speirs, who had eluded the backs, and having a clear goal, easily beat M'Pherson. The result was:--Ayr, 1; Greenock Morton, 0.
Morton's 18-game SFL schedule is complete, though other league members still have a number of few games to make up. Morton ends in seventh place with six wins, a draw, and eleven losses, and a goal difference of -5. Let's continue to follow Morton through the early months of 1899 as they compete in the Glasgow and West Scotland Football League, the Scottish Cup, and the Renfrewshire Cup.
What was the highlight of the first half of 2016-17 for each Championship team?
Ayr United They beat Hibs at Easter Road.
Dumbarton They beat Dundee United.
Dundee United They took over first place on Xmas Eve.
Dunfermline They beat Morton.
Falkirk They tied Hibs.
Hibs They held first place for eleven weeks.
Morton They made the League Cup semi-finals.
Queen of the South They held first place for three weeks.
Raith Rovers They held first place for three weeks.
St Mirren They made the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Current home winless streaks:
0 Dundee United, Morton, Dumbarton
1 Dunfermline, Falkirk, Hibs, St Mirren
4 Ayr United
6 Queen of the South
Winter Break. After today's play the Premiership goes on winter break until January 28th. This is the longterm effect of the snowy winter of 2010-11. Though, if memory serves, the Premier League was the one that was least effected by postponements that winter.
But what will they put on TV? January 6th, Hibs vs Dundee United. January 14th, a glamour friendly between Rangers and Red Bull Leipzig. January 21st, Scottish Cup 4th round.
How is FC Wil 1900 like Greenock Morton?
FC Wil has won the Swiss Cup once, and been in European competition once. It's a longstanding member of the second tier. Its stadium is smaller than Cappielow. Team colours are white, black, and powder blue.
The semi-finals of the Emperor's Cup were played Thursday:
Queen of the South vs Ayr United, a Burns Country derby. These two clubs have played in the same division six seasons in the 21st Century, five of them in the second tier and one in the third. QoS are nine league wins ahead during that time. [0 - 0.]