Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Can anybody hear us scream?

St Andrew’s Day and the Homecoming finale. Yesterday was a good day for our national cup competition, the world’s oldest national trophy, to make a splash with the entry of the big names into the third round draw.

A live broadcast during the main evening news would have caused people to sit up and take notice. With junior side Irvine Meadow still involved the draw was always likely to be rich in the romance and cliché that are the lifeblood of this kind of event.

Which all leads me to ask exactly how the SFA managed to bag the coveted 2.30pm slot on Sky Sports News?

Who did they possibly think would be watching at that time on a Monday afternoon? Are we now concerned that Scottish football is not positioning itself properly to win the always crucial “I’m-just-watching-because-I’ve-seen-that-Diagnosis-Murder-before-and-the-Ocean-Finance-advert-is-on-every-channel” market?

For those of us stuck at work the coverage provided on the SFA’s own website will forever remain a mystery. It seems that all of us stuck at work trying to find out what the hell was going on caused the site to lose consciousness for a while.

There has been a concern for years that interest in the (We’re Not An) Active Nation Scottish Cup has been dwindling. But if the organisation charged with running it can’t be arsed then why should anybody else?

Anyway, rant aside, the draw was made and Irvine Meadow got the tie of their dreams (at least those dreams that involved a side that may or may not finish in the top three, rather than their real dreams about the Old Firm) with a trip to Easter Road. It’s nice that, in their debut cup campaign, the junior mob have been paired with a team with such rich and cherished memories of the Scottish Cup.

Elsewhere, the tie of the round is Hamilton v Rangers. Or, if you’re a normal person rather than a Sky Sports scheduler, you’d probably choose Aberdeen v Hearts.

I’m sure you’ve seen it by now but the full draw is below. Ties on 9/10th January. An early tip for me would be Dundee United but I fancy the final to be an Old Firm free zone so it really is up for grabs this year.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Motherwell
Hamilton v Rangers (Sunday 10th, Lunchtime kick off, Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Sports)
Morton or Dumbarton v Celtic
Hibernian v Irvine Meadow
St Mirren v Cowdenbeath or Alloa Athletic
Raith Rovers or Peterhead v Airdrie United
Dunfermline v Stenhousemuir or Cove Rangers
Forfar v St Johnstone
Clyde or Livingston v Dundee
Albion Rovers v Stirling Albion
Aberdeen v Hearts
Edinburgh City v Montrose
Partick Thistle v Dundee United
Ross County v Inverurie Loco Works
Ayr United v Wick Academy or Brechin
Kilmarnock v Falkirk