The Benchman, November 2, 2017

Which ground is this?
Which ground is this?

Our columnist looks over the week that was...

IF THEY’RE GOOD ENOUGH: Great to see young Cieran Dunne get a starting debut against Queens. With careful handling, encouragement, common sense and realism the lad has a good future ahead of him.

JUST LIKE OLD TIMES: Brockville Glory Days were recalled in BTW on Friday and Saturday, when a staff reunion marked the 25th anniversary of the town centre pub. The 4-0 cup win against Hearts, when Collin Samuel ran Steven Pressley ragged and gave a young Craig Gordon a game to forget, was the favourite of many, but for sheer nostalgia the last ever game at Brockville came out on top. To be able to leave the pub at 2.55 pm and make kick off time was a football fan’s idea of Shangri-La.

DOOM-HAMERS: The trip to Dumfries often ends in tears and that long stretch from Dumfries to the start of the M74 gets longer and longer after a defeat. It was a real roller-coaster and older fans will remember a Fry’s chocolate bar called Five Boys. The facial expressions of the five ranged from sadness to joy and every expression in between. Bairns fans showed all five faces at Palmerston. Despair at being three down, hope at 3-2 and then utter devastation with that fourth.

PLAY-ABILITY: The Senior Bairns enjoyed a tremendous presentation from David McArdle of the S.F.A. last monthon the new initiative play-Ability. Members were shown a video of a game between Scotland and the USA and of a very good standard indeed. When David announced that every player had cerebral palsy, there were many who were incredulous. When further film showed Frame Football for youngsters whose efforts were a sheer joy to watch, and whose parents had travelled hundreds of miles to help them play football, it became obvious that this world-leading programme deserves a wider exposure.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU GOT?: Since the start of the season there have been some Nights of the Long Knives and many heads have rolled. Most seasoned watchers of the game can tell whether or not it will all end in tears as ego after ego greets the assembled press corps with bluster, bravado and boasts after a photo shoot with the obligatory scarf draped round their neck. Most people were not surprised when Pedro Caixinha was sacked after 26 games in charge. Nearly everyone was surprised when he was appointed in the first place. It was a case of déjà vu (all over again) when his record is compared to that of the late and unlamented Paul le Guen.

ANSWERS: Last week’s picture featured a rare shot of the Falkirk tour of Malta back in the early 1950s. Eddie Connachan arrived at Brockville from Middlesbrough in exchange for Willie Whigham.

TEASER: From which club did Falkirk sign George Merchant, the 1957 centre forward?

Match rating: 6
Team rating: 4
Opposition: 7
Referee: Kirkland 7
Best Bairn: Dunne

ANSWER: The mystery picture is from Brockville Park, Falkirk