Final: The Falkirk Herald looks back at the 1957 Scottish Cup run that earned the Bairns the famous trophy 60 years ago.
Unlucky Falkirk, lucky Kilmarnock, call it what you may, Saturday’s final did end in a draw and maybe on the whole it was a fair result, though there is no doubting the fact that in the first half, as far as Falkirk are concerned, the Cup was there for the taking. The only time Killie ever looked like doing anything was in the last 15 minutes, and they came close too.
Individually Falkirk were away ahead of Killie in almost all departmenst but it looked as if it was one of those days when the ball just would not go in. In fact so strong were Falkirk in the opening half-hour that I really wondered if this was the same Killie team that I had read so much about. The skillful attacking football and steady defence was not on show, but rather some panicky clearances mixed with hairbreadth escapes.
The pattern of the game was to a large extent dictated by the strong wind that swirled round the great Hampden stand. From the north Falkirk had it behind them in the first half and although they made full use of it, only a Prentice penalty goal was recorded. Why was this? Simply sheer bad luck and not enough power at inside-forward.
The strong point of this Falkirk team was defence. Each and everyone did their job magnificently. The Harvey-Mays wing never came to anything and Curlett at centre was roving on his own for most of the game, giving little trouble to Irvine. The Killie centre nearly pulled the game out of the fire in the last few minutes with a snap shot that struck the post but apart from this he did next to nothing.
Despite the expert defence of Alex, Parker and Wright Burns and Black proved the most dangerous of the Killie attack. And Parker even reached some of his international best at that. The reason for this was clear to see Derek Grierson, the vital link between Tom Murray who might easily have won the game, was missing. Grierson was most disappointing and towards the end he could do nothing right. Murray had the better of J. Stewart in the first half but after the interval, lacking support from his partner, the winger was never in the game.
Moran, plus the drive and constructive play of Prentice, gave O’Hara plenty opportunity to show his worth and the winger did some very clever things. He had some near misses and I remember one terrific hook shot late in the second half that had Brown beaten, but the ball shaved the bar. Collins the Kilmarnock captain, took a long time to get the better of O’Hara and I think it was a case of tiring on the Falkirk player’s part.
Neither of the keepers had much chance with the goals. Brown never moved while Prentice scored, while Slater was well beat by Curlett’s close-in shot.
For Killie, I would say Mackay played well enough to deserve mention and it was largely due to him that the Black-Burns wing became a danger late in the game.
One word, too, must go to the referee Mr Jack Mowat. He was in fine form and nothing escaped his watchful eye.
Clearly it was a type of game in which each team had one half - Falkirk the first and then Kilmarnock.