I return with the second of my cup-final day experience articles. In the previous version, i went with the smallest cup final i attended, as well as what was the largest (in terms of attendance). Now, I'll go on about when things don't go well, and when things do go well.
3) Things don't always go well.
One of the minor trophies Peterhead could win is the Aberdeenshire Shield. Played for by teams in the Aberdeenshire region, they reached the final in 1995-1996. It was against arch-rivals Fraserburgh. They went 3-0 ahead, due to a hat-trick by "Vialli" (bald striker Colin Milne). Unfortunately, a free kick 15 minutes from the end made it 3-1. Then a miss-hit goalkeeper clearance made it 3-2. You may have guessed, there was an equaliser. Extra-time it was. Just like the Union semi-final, you may have thought the team would be down giving up the equaliser. Unlike the Union's semi-final, the team did collapse and those puddlestinking brochers won 6-3 in extra time (Puddlestinkers are Fraserburgh's nickname given to them by Peterhead fans - think of it like the "Pink Cows of New Jersey").
Obviously, that wasn't a great day to be a Peterhead fan. Hopefully the Union fans aren't feeling like i did that day. It was going great, and then the wheels fell off. It was a very sad trip back to Peterhead from Allan Park, Cove that was made even worse by a parking ticket we found on our car window coming out.
4) When it goes well, even "Soccer Haters" can enjoy themselves.
If the 1995-96 Cup Final didn't go well, then Peterhead made up for that in the 1997-98 Scottish Qualifying Cup Final. To put some perspective to this, the Scottish Non-League North and South get to send four teams into the Scottish Cup proper. To qualify, you just need to get to the semifinals of the qualifying tournament. However, pride and the chance to win silverware was important. Fraserburgh had the upper hand in terms of trophies at the time, despite Peterhead spending money to win. Just before game day, there was a thief throwing a spanner in the works. They stole the players' football boots.
I was in the first year at University at the time, and decided to bring friends of mine to the game before heading to Peterhead for a fish supper and night out. This included friends that don't care about the sport - they just came along for the night out. Game day and again there's plenty of excitement (meaning I can't sleep well). Off to Huntly from Aberdeen (about 45 minute drive at the time). We get there, and it has been raining so much that the field is a mess. Peterhead tended to be the better footballing team, and this was even more bad news for the preparations.
What happened in the next 90 minutes of football may be the greatest 90 minutes I've had the pleasure of attending. While Peterhead versus Fraserburgh is no Old-Firm game, or Fenerbahçe vs. Galatasaray, it is still a rivalry. That makes any time you beat them special. If you were going to beat them with everything going against you, it's even better.
Raymond Yule. Colin Milne (twice), Derek Smith (twice), Scott Paterson, Scott Clark, and Ray Cormack all scored. It was 5-0 at half-time, 8-0 at full time. Peterhead were rampant, and Fraserburgh fans could only watch as their team was torn apart attack after attack. In a crowd of probably around 1500, those in Blue were happy.
This is the feeling i want Union fans to feel tonight. The fans going mad, revenge for previous cup final defeats gained, and it was the first trophy of what was a very successful few years for the team. At the trophy presentation, the team asked fans to come to celebrate with them. However, my biggest memory - that friend that doesn't like the sport ended up jumping up and down with a random Peterhead fan when celebrating a goal. He loved the cup final experience as much as those that bleed Peterhead blue. It doesn't need to be the biggest trophy possible for all this to happen, any cup win is fantastic.
I hope you've enjoyed the cup final experiences I've shared with you. If you have your own cup final day experiences, why not write a fan post, or send the article to us to post. In a year's time hopefully we will all be thinking back about a shared cup final experience that is all smiles and no tears.