The Benchman: Never mind Scottish Labour, what about Real Madrid?

Who is this hard-training player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
Who is this hard-training player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
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The Benchman wonders what it will take for the Hampden blazers to realise their top flight is mince.

VIRGIN ON THE RIDICULOUS: You couldn’t make it up. The big game at Wembley. Everyone wants to get there. But wait. A late kick- off and a long journey there and back. How would Preston fans manage when there was going to be such disruption on the railways? The sponsors would have been miffed. Who sponsors Preston? Only Virgin Trains.

YOU BET: You couldn’t make it up if you tried. After months of trying, the beleaguered Neil Doncaster finally secures a sponsor for the SPFL. You have to be careful with sponsors, and some brands are not always best linked to clubs. Many felt uneasy about clubs being linked with pay-day loan companies like Wonga. In the week that a Motherwell player was being investigated for betting on matches, Mr Doncaster proudly unveiled the new backers – Ladbrokes.

HERE WE GO AGAIN: Just as the SPFL finally realise that maybe one of their BIG clubs might have to stay down in the Championship, there is talk of league reconstruction. What will it take for the SPFL mandarins to realise that their top flight is a nonsense? Scottish League Division One- 16 teams. Scottish League Division Two- 16 teams. Play each other twice a year. Simple

TEASER: Who did Falkirk sign Harry Kinnear from?

THE LAST FIVE HEROES OF ‘57: It was great to be able to talk to Tommy Murray, Jimmy McIntosh and Dougie Moran again recently. They always ask after their old team-mates from 1957, and like all of those who remember them, were sad to hear that George Merchant and Eddie O’Hara weren’t keeping in the best of health.

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery player was Andy Penman of Dundee and Rangers fame. The Bairn who played in the Spurs v. Queens Park FA Cup Final was Simon Stainrod.

HOW HAVE THE MIGHTY FALLEN: Never mind the Scottish Labour Party, what about Real Madrid? After the defeat by Juventus, Ronaldo was a has-been, Bale a waste of money and Ancellotti was ready for a P45. Short memories or what?

FALKIRK JUNIORS: Falkirk certainly came up on the rails and took many clubs by surprise. There were a few eyebrows raised when they set out on their adventure in the Grangemouth Stadium and some doubted the wisdom of the move. Credit where credit’s due and congratulations to all involved.

EXHIBITION: Well done to Eden Consultancy and the Howgate people (and the Falkirk Herald photo staff – Sports Ed) for the impressive display in the Howgate Centre which captures the story of Falkirk F.C. and the Five Cup Finals. Not many “provincial” clubs can boast that record and the recent record in the tournament is impressive.

FORFAR FOUR?: Those aficionados of the pie stalls must have been secretly hoping that Dick Campbell’s Forfar team might get through the play-off matches. There are pies and then there are pies – but the Forfar Bridie is something else.