1878-79 The First Trophy
The new season began towards the end of September when Springvale visited Overnewton and left with a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Thistle (John Burleigh, Brash), quickly followed by Parkholm – dispatched 7-0 in what was described kindly as a “rather one-sided game.”
The second team started well, too, with good wins over local sides.
The West Of Scotland Cup began with Thistle carrying their good form into a home match against Dennistoun and ended with a 6-3 win, before a 1-2 defeat at the feet of Cowlairs. However, form was quickly regained and Vale of Clyde (1-0 Burleigh), Dumbarton Albion (3-0 Burleigh, Brash(2)), Roseberry (2-0 Bowie(2)), and Petershill (3-0 Burleigh (2), Brash) were all defeated through November and December before the next round of the West Of Scotland Cup against Thornliebank Rainbow.
The game was played at Thornliebank in front of a large number of spectators. Rainbow took advantage of the wind and slope in the first half, but the prolific Burleigh and Brash both scored to win the game for Thistle.
The weather again meant the curtailing of matches, with only a 1-3 defeat at Upper Clydesdale and a 1-1 draw against Partick Violet to keep the players occupied until the away Cup semi-final against Wellpark of Crossmyloof at the end of March. The cup-tie finished 1-1.
The following week the game was replayed at neutral Queen’s Park. Thistle had the bulk of the play, with the Thistle goalkeeper only touching the ball twice, and the Wellpark defence playing well. At the end of the match the result was again 1-1. A further half-hour was played, and at the conclusion Thistle were ahead 2-1 to qualify for their first ever Cup Final.
Little time was given for preparation, with the Final arranged for the next week – the 5th April 1879 at the showpiece Hampden Park.
WEST OF SCOTLAND ASSOCIATION CUP –
PARTICK THISTLE v MARCHTON
The final tie for the above cup, for which a number of junior clubs, who have no ground of their own, have competed in the various stages, took place on Hampden Park, kindly put at the disposal of the combatants by the Queen’s Park. The clubs left in the last tie were Marchton (present holders) and Partick Thistle, both promising teams. About 400 spectators, including a large number of partisans of both clubs, attended, and watched the progress of the game with considerable excitement. The Partick club, if anything, had the advantage in weight, and showed better combined play than their opponents, but both at times were erratic in judgement, a defect however, which experience will go a long way to rectify. The Marchton had the wind in their favour during the first half of the game, and near the outset looked like scoring, but the defensive tactics pursued by Thistle in front of goal were excellent, and while the younger club, Partick Thistle, renewed their energy, that of the Marchton began to relax, and their can only be opinion about the fact that the winners earned an honest victory. Although both goals were repeatedly endangered, no scoring occurred until the second half, when the Thistle, with the breeze at their backs, earned a clever goal – the ball being brought up by Brown, Meldrum and Bowie, and was sent through by Brash, about 20 minutes before time was called. Shortly before the close the Marchton had a couple of plucky efforts to retrieve themselves, but did not succeed, the Thistle being hailed the winners of the cup by one goal to none.
(North British Daily Mail 7th April 1879)
WEST OF SCOTLAND CUP FINAL Marchton v Partick Thistle
The final in the West Of Scotland Cup competition was played on Saturday at Hampden Park, kindly put at the disposal of the young association by the Queen’s Park club. The contending clubs were the Marchton (who were successful last year) and the Thistle, of Partick. During the progress of the match the weather was fine, and there were several hundred spectators present, many of whom waited to witness the second match between the 2nd Queen’s Park and Kelvinbank. In the first half the Thistle, although contending against the wind, played up hard, and the game continued very equal, each goal in turn being assaulted. Nothing was scored up to half-time and on changing ends the Thistle, having somewhat the advantage in weight, had slightly the best of the encounter, and scored a goal with a low shot from Brash. About 20 minutes remained to play, but nothing further was scored, and the match ended in a win for the Partick Thistle by one goal to none.
(Glasgow News 7th April 1879)
WEST OF SCOTLAND CUP FINAL
The final tie for the cup of the West Of Scotland Football Association was played off by the Partick Thistle and Marchton clubs at Hampden Park. Owing doubtless to curiosity and partly to the fine afternoon, there was a pretty numerous assemblage of spectators. Throughout the first half, the game was on the whole evenly contested, and both sides were able to defend their goal successfully. Later on, however, the Partick players showed somewhat the better form, and managed to carry the ball to the mouth of their opponents goal. One of the best runs saw Brash sending the ball through the posts. Nothing further was done, and the game, which was earnestly contested, with perhaps more spirit than judgement, ended in favour of the Partick Thistle, who accordingly take the cup.
(Glasgow Herald 7th April 1879)
The teams lined up :
Partick Thistle: Duff, goal; Hendry and Gardner, backs; Beattie (capt) and Leckie, half backs; Meldrum, Brown, Burleigh, Bowie, Brash and Inglis, forwards.
Marchtown: Stevenson, goal; McLachlan and Dick, backs; J.Allan and McIntosh, half backs; M.Allan, Renfrew, Forgie, McDowall, Erskine and Shaw, forwards.
The cup final victory was a fitting culmination for a successful season, and was a personal triumph for Brash, who had scored regularly throughout the season. One fixture remained to be played, and the season officially ended after Violet were beaten 3-2 at Kinning Park.
The second team ended the season on a losing note with a 0-1 defeat from Possil Heather Bell. The seconds ended the season with 14 wins, a draw and one defeat in 16 games, scoring 35 goals and losing just two. The success of this team was to bode well for the top team in years to come.
Season by season
- Miscellaneous (16)
- Other clubs (15)
- Players (26)
- Thistle – early years (48)
- Thistle – general (5)
Football history links
- Ayr United archive
- Bill Shankly
- Falkirk Historian
- Gallant Pioneers – Early history of Rangers
- Glasgow Herald archive at Google
- Hibernian Historical Trust
- London Hearts
- Partick Thistle history archive by StuTheJag
- Rangers History
- Scottish Football Historical Archive
- Scottish Football Museum
- Scottish Sports History
- ScottishLeague.net and forum