SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP WINNERS
3pm, Saturday 15th May 1965. A season of hard work, close encounters and magnificent performances reached its zenith as Linlithgow Rose took to the field to face Baillieston.
It was the culmination of a season of firsts. First time the club had reached the quarter final of the Junior Cup since 1914/15, 50 years previously. First time they’d ever reached the semi final. And now their first final.
The pressure had been building, performances had dipped in the month before the big day. But just in time, the Rose re-discovered their mojo with a 5-0 demolition of Arniston Rangers to set themselves up for the final.
The players emerged onto the Hampden turf to tremendous acclamation from the 35,000 supporters in the stadium. Fleet after fleet of buses had made the trip from Linlithgow and surrounding areas. The special train straight to Kings Park from Linlithgow had arrived in good time. We were good to go and these boys were ready.
What a start! There were just three minutes on the clock when Malcolm Oliphant latched onto a loose ball in the Baillieston box and thumped the ball into the roof of the net past Lindsay, the despairing Baillieston goalkeeper. Linlithgow could have gone further ahead within the opening 10 minutes but Cowie’s header went narrowly over the bar after more good work by Oliphant. Baillieston were no back number in this competition though and should have equalised when Black out-jumped John Grant to set up Moan but the striker pulled his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Play swung back and forth at a rollicking pace. The Rose had class on their side but Baillieston matched them with grit and endeavour – attributes that count for plenty in Junior Cup finals. Just on the half hour came a pivotal moment in the tie. Baillieston pressed Linlithgow hard and when Black got onto the end of a cross he hammered a fierce drive which looked like a certain goal. But Eamon McGlynn pulled off perhaps the save of his life as he threw himself across goal and somehow managed to turn the ball over the crossbar. Shortly after, Colin Grant had a chance to make it 2-0 but fired his effort over the bar as the teams went in at half time with Linlithgow holding a slender advantage.
The second half was a different story. Linlithgow were in about Baillieston from the restart. Fordyce sent a screamer just wide before Alex Gardner set off on run from the halfway line, beating four defenders and crashing his shot against the bar. A second goal seemed inevitable and it wasn’t long in coming. From a throw in on the right touchline, Linlithgow’s slick passing carved open the Bailieston defence as Veitch played in Colin Grant who struck a low shot past the keeper from 12 yards. Just after the hour mark the game was over as a contest as Linlithgow piled on incessant pressure. The Baillieston defence were stretched and all over the place when Lindsay could only punch Oliphant’s hanging cross onto the bar before Cowie nodded the ball home from no more than a yard out to make it 3-0.
Two minutes later the rout was complete. Henderson and Colin Grant caught the Baillieston defence napping as they took a short corner before Grant delivered a superb cross to the back post where Gardner leapt salmon-like to power his header into the back of the net.
The Rose support were in raptures. “Easy, easy” was the cry as Linlithgow showed what they were all about playing some of the finest football seen at Hampden for a long time at any level. They moved the ball effortlessly around the pitch and whilst no more goals were added the joy in their football was a treat for everyone but the most ardent of Baillieston supporters. Their opponents did secure a consolation three minutes from time when Black seized on the space vacated by a badly injured Tommy Reston to fire in a shot which McGlynn could only parry before Traquhair tapped home from close range.
The final whistle went amidst jubilant scenes. The wait was over, the job done. Legends strode the turf of Hampden Park. They had written themselves into the history of Linlithgow Rose as no others had done before. They danced, somersaulted and cart-wheeled all over the pitch. They commiserated with their opponents who were sporting in defeat.
Tommy Reston lifted the Scottish Junior Cup. The party started.
Linlithgow Rose: McGlynn, Reston, Syme, Veitch, J Grant, Gardner, Henderson, C Grant, Cowie, Fordyce, Oliphant.
Baillieston: Lindsay, Bryers, Crawford, McGuigan, Johnstone, McLure, Traquhair, Moan, Black, Devine, Baxter.