The Benchman: Shire hard work is paying off

Can you name this former Falkirk player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
Can you name this former Falkirk player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp

The Benchman wonders if more people may have been attracted to last weekend’s Petrofac Cup final if it had been played in Falkirk rather than Perth.

THE HIGH VAULKS: What a celebration that was by Will Vaulks. Two and a half somersault with pike. Degree of difficulty? The manager and the physio must have had palpitations, but the crowd in the South Stand loved it.

BARGAIN BUYS - NOT: Lucky white heather? Obviously not down Copland Road way. The “deal” with Newcastle was ludicrous in the extreme, but the bonus payment for any Rangers promotion really took the biscuit. Who negotiated these deals? Oh - I forgot.

THE BLUE BRAZIL: Two real battles against Jimmy Nicholl’s side and not for those of a nervous disposition. They are not the worst side in the division, and their 3-0 win over Dumbarton showed that. They will take points off any team on their day, and have a few useful players. Now, if they sorted that pitch out, who knows how they might do.

SHIRE DETERMINATION: It’s great to see The Shire on the fringe of the play-off places, instead of propping up the league. They used to give Falkirk some good games, especially on their own park, and I well remember their last flirtation with the old First Division when crowds of over 10,000 packed Firs Park. They were never really hammered and had some great characters. While we’re on the subject of The Shire - I know we have weather problems in Scotland and Moray is subject to flooding, but to send The Shire team and supporters up to Elgin twice in a month is plain silly. Brora Rangers anyone?

HALF WAY HOUSE? Alloa to Falkirk is 11.5 miles. Livingston to Falkirk is 24.8 miles. So why did the organisers of the Petrofac Cup take the final to Perth? Livingston to Perth is 49.3 miles. Alloa to Perth is 34.5 miles. No pitch problems at Falkirk. Easy to access. Big enough to hold the projected crowd. Logical.

THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE: It is always sad to come across former players who have fallen on hard times. Not for them the luxury lifestyle, but all too often illness and injury, and the terrible price they paid for some crude treatment to ensure they were able to turn out for vital games. Many had no record of their playing career. The Football Memories project tries to address these problems by creating a This Is Your Football Life book. The results can be amazing.

TEASER: From which club did Falkirk sign Joe McLaughlin?

BLOWING IN THE WIND: Is there a case for postponing games in conditions like those in Dumbarton?

MYSTERY PIC: Can you name the Falkirk player pictured in the striped top above? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp

GRINDERS: It’s not pretty, but the results are all that matters. The two Cowdenbeath games were bad, and the Raith game had a few scary moments. 1-0, 1-0, 1-0. Would you take that until the end of the season?

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery picture featured future sports hack Doug Baillie and the 9-0 half-time nightmare came at Fir Park, Motherwell.