The office of First Minister of Scotland was created in 1999, and the first First Minister was Labourite Donald Dewar. He died unexpectedly in 2000, and this statue was cast in 2002. Photo by Nick Thompson.
Greenock Morton visit Stranraer. Morton have won their last four league matches and sit in first place. Stranraer are fourth, three points behind them in the table. If Stranraer win today they could take over first, depending on what Forfar and Dunfermline get up to.
Morton won their first meeting 4 - 0, the largest goal difference in The Ton's favour so far this season, excluding 13 - 1 over Viewfield Rovers in the Renfrewshire Cup semi-final.
Q: Gee, I wonder, how do you pronounce Stranraer?
A: It's a bit like Strong Tar.
Morton are still feeling the sting of their Scottish Cup elimination at the hands of Lowland League side Spartans FC. The life of a Morton supporter truly is a kaleidoscopic tilt-a-whirl. Last season Morton were at the bottom of the table but knocked Celtic out of the League Cup. This year they're in first place, but lose to Spartans. WFT!
So Spartans join the rank of clubs that have eliminated Morton from cup competition. Which club has done that the most times?* Rangers (12 times in the Scottish Cup + 2 in the League Cup = 14). Next is Celtic (11 Scottish Cup + 1 League Cup = 12), then Aberdeen (7 Scottish Cup + 3 League Cup = 10) and St Mirren (5 Scottish Cup + 3 League Cup + 2 Challenge Cup = 10).
*Counting Scottish Cup, Challenge Cup, and League Cup since 1984/85 when it became a knock-out competition.
[Stranraer win 2 - 0. Two Morton players are shown the red card. Forfar and Dunfermline also win, so Morton slide to fourth place, though still only two points out of first.]
On Wednesday Alloa beat Rangers 3 - 2 in their Challenge Cup semi-final. Ha ha! It was Alloa's first win against any Rangers** team ever. When did Morton last beat a club from Ibrox? April 9th, 1988.
**Treating Rangers FC and Sevco as the same thing.
Today is Round Four of the Scottish Amateur Cup. (I managed somehow to miss Round Three. And Round One.) Match of the day is:
Greenock HSFP AFC (CSAFL) versus Barnhill AFC.
Greenock HSFP AFC (CSAFL) stands for Greenock High School Former Pupils Amateur Football Club. (Central Scottish Amateur Football League). The High for short. Greenock HSFP play in the CSAFL Premier Division, where they are currently sixth out of twelve. They were founded in 1907 and won the Scottish Amateur Cup in 1922 and 1949, mirroring the Morton's Scottish Cup successes. They wear blue and white.
[GHSFP win 9 - 0.]
Twelve days after meeting in the Emperor's Cup semi-final (Montedio won that), Montedio Yamagata and JEF United Chiba meet tomorrow in the promotion playoffs to J1. Last weekend Montedio beat Júbilo Iwata to get to this game, the goalkeeper scoring the winner at 92 minutes. [Montedio win 1 - 0 and are promoted.]
Edith Somerville, co-author of the Irish RM books, studied art in Paris in the 1880s. Here is her sketch of one of her art classes, looking much as art classes look today. Somerville used her Paris experience in the novel French Leave. Source.