The History of East Stirlingshire in Cup Finals

Sunday’s Final will be the 96th (excluding our Replays and 2nd Legs) we have played in our history and we thought that it would be worth having a brief look back at those previous Finals.

It all started way back in 1883/84 when we reached the Final of the 1st ever Stirlingshire Cup competition  On the 29th March we met local rivals Falkirk at Loch 16, Camelon, home of Tayavalla, in front of a 2000 crowd. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and Falkirk edged us out in the Replay 1-3.

The following season we met newly formed Camelon in the Falkirk and District Cup which had been inaugurated that season. With the Shire leading 2-0 the Brockville Park Final was abandoned after 77 minutes due to hail. The two teams met again 7 days later at the same venue with the game ending in a 1-1 draw so a further 7 days on, on the 23rd March 1885, it was back to Brockville for the Replay. This time the 1500 crowd saw the Shire win our 1st ever trophy when we triumphed 2-1.

During the rest of the 1880s and 1890s Shire reached multiple Finals in the 3 local competitions (Stirlingshire Cup, Falkirk & District Charity Cup and Falkirk Cottage Hospitals Shield) regularly winning. One of the real highlights was the 9-0 demolition of Falkirk in the 1887/88 Stirlingshire Cup Final in front of a 3000 crowd at Victoria Park, Camelon (where the Mariner Centre now is).

In 1895/96 the Scottish Qualifying Cup was introduced (note that there was only 1 Qualifying Cup competition at that time which covered the whole of Scotland) and Shire won through to the 1st ever Final where we met Annbank at Underwood Park, Paisley (home of Abercorn) but lost 1-3 on the day.

Undaunted Shire went on the reach the Qualifying Cup Final again in 1897/98 losing 2-4 to Port Glasgow Athletic at Hampden before at last wining the trophy in 1989/99 overcoming Arthurlie 4-1 at Hampden in front of over 7000 fans on 17th December.

Shire again reached the Scottish Qualifying Cup Final in 1900/01 where we met Stenhousemuir in a Final played at Brockville Park. However, the Shire fans in the crowd of over 6000 were to be disappointed as we went down 0-3. That same season Shire reached the Final of the Dewar Shield for the 1st time when to travelled to Dens Park to played Dundee A. The home side we too powerful on the day as we went down 1-6. A 7000 crowd turned up to watch the game which was filmed by two separate cameras. It was 1st known filming of a Shire game.

Up until the club closed down at the end of 1916/17, due to the War, Shire continued regularly to play in the Finals of the local Cups, winning a few. During this period we also played in 2 Penman Cup Finals in 1908/09 (the 1907/08 Final) and 1914/15 (the 1913/14 Final) though we were Runners Up in both; the 1st one losing 0-1 to St. Bernards at Brockville Park and the 2nd losing to Broxburn United at our then home, New Merchiston Park, 2-3. We also played in the Final of the Central Counties Championship losing 0-5 away to Raith Rovers in 1903/04.

The main standout during the pre Great War Years was when we won the Scottish Qualifying Cup for the 2nd time in 1910/11 against Johnstone in front of 4000 at Ibrox Park 1-0 in a Replay on 3rd December. The 1st game at Celtic Park 1 week earlier had ended 0-0. The crowd in the original game was slightly higher at 5000. The following two photos are from the 1st game at Celtic Park.

During the years between the 2 World Wars we reached 21 Finals winning 12. The Finals were mainly in the Stirlingshire Cup, Falkirk Infirmary Shield and Stirlingshire Consolation Cup though we did have a notable triumph in the Dewar Shield in 1929/30 when we beat St. Johntstone in a Replay at Firs Park on the 4th September, 2-0. This was only ever time we won this competiton which was for the Winners of the Local Cups in Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Forfarshire and Aberdeenshire.

After the Second World War appearances in Cup Finals have been less frequent for the Shire. In 1945/46 there was no Scottish Cup and instead it was replaced by the Victory Cup. Like the Scottish Cup there was a tournament to reach the 1st Round proper for the teams outside the Scottish Southern Leagues. Shire reached the Final of the Victory Cup Qualifying Tournament where we met Clachnuddin over 2 legs. The 1st game drew out a 5000 crowd at Inverness to watch the teams battle out a 3-3 draw before the 2nd Leg was drawn 2-2 at Firs Park in front of a reported record crowd (the newspapers never recorded that actual size of the crowd but it would certainly have been over 8000). So a Replay was required to decide the Tie and this was played at Muirton Park, Perth on 2nd January with a crowd in excess of 4000 in attendance. The game remained tied 2-2 after 90 minutes but the Shire were too strong in extra time winning 5-2 in the end. With the exception of the Stirlingshire Cup this is the last Cup we have won though actually we received no Trophy for winning the competition ! The following programme is from the 2nd Leg of the Final at Firs Park and is the 1st ever home programme that Shire produced in our history.

In 1946/47 and 1947/48 the Scottish Qualifying Cup was Regionalised and Shire played in the Midlands Section reaching the Final in both years. We lost out in both Finals, 1-2 to Forfar Athletic at Muirton Park in 1946/47 and 0-3 to Montrose at Arbroath the following year in a Replay after the original Final tie had been drawn 4-4 at Montrose.

Against the odds Shire reached the Final of the Dewar Shield in 1949/50 where we met Aberdeen. The 1st Leg was played on 3rd May at Firs Park where we lost 1-3 (we missed an 85th minute penalty). The 2nd Leg was held over to the following season so we travelled to Pittodrie on 23rd August 1950 but it wasn’t to be as we went down 0-3.

Our last ever Final outside the Stirlingshire Cup took place in on 31st August 1959. We reached the Final of the 1958/59 Penman Cup against Raith Rovers with the game being held over to the start of the following season. On the day Shire lost out to the Division One team 2-5.

Since then the Shire have played in 13 Stirlingshire Cup Final winning 3. The last win coming on 5th September, 2000 when we lifted the Cup 6-5 on penalties after the game against Alloa Athletic at the Recs had ended 2-2 in 90 minutes.

The last time we have reached a Final before this Sunday was in the Stirlingshire Cup 2014/15 competition, the Final was held over to the start of the following season and played on 14th July. In the Ochilview Final we came up against our landlords at the time, Stenhousemuir. The game was a tight one which ended 1-1 in 90 minutes but we lost the penalty shootout 3-4.



East Stirlingshire Overall Cup Final Record

Winners – Total: 43

Runners Up – Total: 52


Scottish Qualifying Cup

Winners (2) – 1898/99, 1910/11

Runners Up (3) – 1895/96, 1897/98, 1900/01

Scottish Victory Cup Qualifying Tournament

Winners (1) – 1945/46

Scottish Qualifying Cup Midlands Section

Runners Up (2) – 1946/47, 1947/48

Dewar Shield

Winners (1) – 1929/30

Runners Up (2) – 1900/01, 1949/50

Penman Cup/Trophy

Runner Up (2) – 1907/08, 1913/14, 1958/59

Central Counties Championship

Runners Up (1) – 1903/04

Stirlingshire Cup

Winners (22) – 1885/86, 1886/87, 1887/88, 1888/89, 1890/91, 1892/93, 1893/94, 1896/97, 1900/01, 1902/03, 1906/07, 1913/14, 1923/24, 1924/25, 1927/28, 1928/29, 1931/32, 1935/36, 1961/62, 1968/69, 1984/85, 2000/01

Runners Up (17) – 1883/84, 1903/04, 1904/05, 1907/08, 1919/20, 1924/25, 1933/34, 1952/53, 1970/71, 1972/73, 1975/76, 1990/91, 1995/96, 1998/99, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2014/15

Falkirk and District Charity Cup

Winners (6) – 1884/85, 1885/86, 1886/87, 1887/88, 1890/91, 1895/96

Runners Up (4) – 1888/89, 1889/90, 1891/92, 1913/14

Falkirk Cottage Hospital(s) Shield/League/Falkirk Infirmary Shield

Winners (9) – 1889/90, 1890/91, 1899/1900, 1900/01, 1903/04, 1924/25, 1926/27, 1928/29, 1931/32

Runners Up (17) – 1891/92, 1892/93, 1893/94, 1896/97, 1901/02, 1904/05, 1908/09, 1911/12, 1913/14, 1915/16, 1916/17, 1920/21, 1921/22, 1923/24, 1929/30, 1935/36, 1936/37

Stirlingshire Consolation Cup

Winners (1) – 1914/15

Runners Up (4) – 1911/12, 1912/13, 1920/21, 1922/23

Ibrox Disaster Fund – Stirlingshire Coronation Competition

Winners (1) – 1902/03