Sunday 29th August 2010
The John Drennan Cup at Holyrood Sports Centre
v Registrars 0-0
Martin Kelly, Arthur McCue, Calum Colquhoun, Calum Stewart, Stuart Waugh, Ally McNaught, Andy Dick (Calum MacDonald) (John Crosbie), Stephen Fox, Paul Joyce (c) (David Blair), Ally Dick (Andy McNaught) and Fraser Marr (Danny McFarlane)
v Calders 1-0 (1-0)
John Crosbie, Arthur McCue (Calum MacDonald), Calum Colquhoun, Calum Stewart (David Blair), Stuart Waugh, Ally McNaught (Andy McNaught), Andy Dick, Stephen Fox, Paul Joyce (c), Ally Dick and Fraser Marr (Danny McFarlane)
v Coasters 0-2 (0-1)
John Crosbie, Calum MacDonald (Fraser Marr), Calum Colquhoun, Stephen Fox, Stuart Waugh (Martin Kelly), Ally McNaught, Andy Dick, Arthur McCue, Paul Joyce (c), David Blair and Danny McFarlane
The other week I was helping out at the Clarkston Conservative Club's Yoga Club for the Over 80's (Ladies Section) and, after our session ended, I sat down for a small sherry with Mistress Alice and Muriel like I normally do.
The conversation turned to football (after the Mistresses had told me some gossip about Willaim Hague which I can't repeat here) and I was asked, "I see you're playing in the John Drennan Cup on Sunday, who is or was this chap Drennan ?".
Well, fifteen sherries later I had only managed to tell the ladies half the story about the great man and we had to get Brigadier Marlborough Pulpit-Smythe (retired) to get his charabanc out the garage so he could give us a lift home.
So, what did I tell the true blue ladies ?
Well, John Drennan is the twin brother of Club President Lord Drennan of Crosshill and goes by the nickname "The Crosshill Goal Machine" which is of course a misnomer as John is more of a Automan than a Machine.
John is one of our Legends and has been described as the finest cente forward we have had since Raph "The Taff" O'Keeffe hung up his boots.
At this point I'd like to point out that John is still alive and in fine health despite being in his late seventies.
One of the first photos of John in the 1940's.
John's career high point was his famous hat trick against the villagers of Taynuilt when he made mincemeat of the home defence on the local shinty pitch.
Being such a sportsman John even had time to apologise to the Taynuilt keeper after completing his hat trick with a tradmark sclaf into the bottom corner.
There was another little known hat trick against Dumbarton which is rarely mentioned and to be fair was probably more down to luck than skill.
One of his other great performances was in Perth when he inspired a comeback by deftly shouldering the ball into the net after a corner when a better player would have ducked and missed it.
In later years he became an outstanding right back and formed a great understanding with his sweeper, the Reverend Ian Fitzpatrick, and many a Sunday you could hear the shout, "well.......eh.........I'm no getting it, eh", as the ball went over Mach's head to be tidied up by the Rev.
John's playing career is over now but he has left a lasting legacy in the form of the "step over" which players the world over do as a matter of course.
Mind you John's version of it generally ended up with a shy ("throw in" for the younger generation) as the ball invariably went out the park after he stepped over it.
John today at his home in Crosshill
When we were looking for an appropriate name for our four team tournament there was no one better than John Drennan that we could name it after.
And so we arrived at a very sunny Holyrood for the John Drennan Cup with Coasters, Calders and Registrars being the other teams taking part in the tournament.
The idea for the day was for each team to play one another in a group format with the games lasting half an hour (fifteen minutes each way).
We managed to get a squad of fifteen together with quite a few changes from our last game against Calders.
Adam, Sean, Jazza, Craig and Robert were missing but Calum Mac, Paul, Ally D and coming in for their first appearances of the season, Foxy, Danny and the Crossers who came out of retirement once again.
The first game of the day was between ourselves and Registrars who were organised by our own Wee Al and included one of our former players in Neil Skinner, Al's cousin.
There were few chances in the game and the main talking point was at the start of the second half when Registrars tired a shot from the kick off which bounced in the area and appeared to go into the net over Safehands' head.
However Referee Marr decided that the ball had gone over the bar and awarded a corner.
Our Crossers, standing on the sidelines near our goal, stated categorically that the ball had gone over the bar so that's good enough for me.
To be honest nothing much else happened in the game and both teams settled for a goalless draw which meant that Safehands had his second career shut out.
Unfortunately Safehands over celebrated (a bizarre routine with "Uncle" Crossers) and pulled a hamstring putting him out of our next game.
The next game in the Cup was favourites Coasters against Calders.
Our friends from Oban didn't bring their "superstars" but had seven of their original founders in the team and included Bertie, Mugsi, Roddy, Gavin, Maccie, Malcolm and "player"/manager John "Scotty" Scott.
Calders last game had been a 6-1 defeat on the same pitch against our good selves so they weren't expected to cause too many problems to Coasters.
How wrong that was proved as Calders won a cracking match 3-2 with their Wee Jackie firing two great shots past Mugsi to seal victory.
Coasters were straight back on and proved too strong for Registrars as they won 4-1 with Donald the bus driver getting a couple.
We were next on against Calders and we started with the same line up apart from Crossers being in goals.
This was a hard fought and close game and it took a single goal to win it for us.
Andy D played the ball through the middle for Paul to run onto and he collided with the outrushing keeper as they both went for the ball. Up Paul got and put the ball into the net for the only goal of the game.
As we headed to the last two games we were top of the group by a point from both Coasters and Calders.
Our last game was against Coasters and Tall Calum and Ally D had had to leave and Andy Boy was knackered so we were down to twelve players plus Martin.
Coasters played the better football throughout the game and Crossers made three excellent saves to keep us in the game but couldn't prevent a goal just before half time.
In the second half Stu had to come off and, with Calum Mac already off, Martin limped back on in goals with Crossers going to central defence.
The change worked immediately as Safehands failed to hold a Mugsi free kick and the rebound got knocked in to make the final score 2-0 to Coasters.
Calders could still win the Cup but had to score at least five goals against Registrars and that seemed unlikely.
They did score two though and Registrars got one in reply to finish the tournament with Coasters the winners.
Coasters 6 pts (8 goals)
Calders 6 pts (5 goals)
Queen's Park 4 pts (1 goal)
Registrars 1 pt (2 goals)
The presentation took place in the Social Club but, as there was no sign of the great Drennan, Mister C did the honours and Gavin collected the Cup for Coasters with Scotty making an emotional speech.
A good wee session in the Club including hot food (thanks to Mrs C for her efforts) ended with Coasters heading up the road via The Park Bar.
With just ourselves left we had a dominoes competition with Big Tam "The Domin-ator" in good voice, unfortunately, before the moment we had waited for, the entrance of John Drennan.
John came in with his celebrity pal Sid Little, one of Britain's finest non comedians, and he was delighted that the day had gone well.
As he said, "well...........eh...........was it today.........eh".
A good end to a good day and thanks to all the teams for taking part.
See you all again at the John Drennan Cup 2011.