13 Mar County’s cup of dreams
I’ve seen a thousand and one cup finals where the best team didn’t win and today was no different.
However, this final wasn’t a nightmare that unfolded, this was a fairytale with the classic happy ending for Ross County.
If ever a club deserved their dream to come true, it is surely County.
Their Chairman Roy McGregor is the perfect gentleman and his club epitomises everything you could wish for in a family.
Their togetherness and willingness to battle for each other was evident throughout, even at times when it looked as if Hibernian were so dominant that it looked like there could only be green and white ribbons on the cup.
A little sprinkling of good fortune and luck favoured the blue and white today at the national stadium.
Kevin Thomson’s misplaced pass, seized upon by County and finished, after a fortuitous break of the ball, by Michael Gardyne, had the greatly outnumbered Staggies in front.
Hibs equaliser from Liam Fontaine was no more than they deserved just on the verge of half-time.
At that point I could only see one winner.
In the second half, for reasons that are beyond me, Hibernian over elaborated, time and again, in the final third, when all it needed was a shot at goal to test County keeper Gary Woods.
The winner in the 90th minute from Alex Schalk was indeed written in the stars for a club that had only entered the professional league in 1994.
A quick break on the left from Michael Gardyne, a cross, a poor clearance from Liam Fontaine and a chance converted from close range by Schalk sent the far travelled County fans wild with delight and left Hibs with little time for recovery.
You have to feel sorry for Hibernian’s players for the effort they put in, but the day belonged to a community club with players that have now etched their name in the history books forever as the winners of Ross County’s first major domestic trophy.
Legends were born here today, just as they were last May for County’s near neighbours Inverness at this very same stadium.
Two of the three domestic pieces of silverware sit in trophy cabinets in the highlands tonight.
Congratulations to Ross County FC, dreams can come true, I witnessed it today at Hampden.