As the 1970s drew to a close Tayport FC was emerging as a force in the local amateur game and continued to make its mark in season 1978/79 by winning both the Bremner and the Alliance Cups.
In those days when games were coming thick and fast towards the end of a season, it was fairly common for the Alliance squad to be boosted with players from the first team. Not so with Tayport on this occasion, with no player turning out for both sides.
The Alliance Cup Final success, a 3-2 win over Invergowrie, the club’s third in this competition, was particularly noteworthy in that their Monday evening success was their 4th match in 9 days.
The Midlands (1stXI) team had experienced a tough season, playing 46 competitive games, 26 league fixtures and 20 cup-ties, with their last chance of glory coming down to their 46th and final game and they delivered, beating Timex AFC 3-0 in the Bremner Cup final at Strathmartine Hospital Grounds.
That season the team had played 6 Scottish Amateur Cup-ties, 7 Fife Amateur Cup-ties, 3 Gray Trophy ties and the final was their 4th in the Bremner. There had been trips to Thornton, Guardbridge, Paisley, Balgonie and Ballingry during the season.
Scottish Amateur Cup
The Scottish Amateur Cup campaign was notable in several ways. In the 2nd Round (Tayport received a bye in the 1st round), we were drawn against Kinlochbervie. Fortunately it was a home draw. Kinlochbervie, a fishing village in North West Sutherland, is remote. Indeed it is so remote that the Oxford English Dictionary lists it as a definition for the word! It was a 450 mile round trip for the visitors who were on the wrong end of one of Tayport’s biggest Scottish Cup scorelines, 11-1, with 8 different players finding the net. Word had it that the ’Bervie boys stayed pre-match overnight in Dundee and, whether connected or not, some went missing and they were unable to field their full strength line-up.
Appearances and Goals
34 players were used in the 1st XI that season but only one, Ronnie Fleming, played in all 46 games. 9 players made only a single appearance or a single substitute appearance.
The eleven making most appearances were:
Ronnie Fleming 46
Peter Wilson 43
Ian Howe 41
Ken Smith 41
Gordon Hughes 40
Alan Hart 39
Doug Paterson 39
Ian Lyall 38
Stuart Davie 33
Doug Henderson 33
Leslie ‘Micky’ Hall 30
Top Marksmen were:
Ian Howe 25 goals
Gordon Hughes 19
Peter Wilson 16
Kenny Smith 12
The Alliance XI played 30 competitive games that season.
As always was the case with the reserves, a large number of players pulled on a jersey during the season, 57 this season, 25 of whom played in only 3 games or less.
Frank Feechan and Rab Hanlon played most games, 27, with Hanlon (16), George Ritchie (13) and Stuart Davie (10) the top scorers.
The eleven players making most appearances were
Frank Feechan 27
Rab Hanlon 27
Sandy Hamilton 25
Gary Cockburn 24
Derek White 23
Jimmy McCafferty 16
Lindsay Ancell 15
Ian Brown 15
George Ritchie 14
Roddy McCafferty 13
Doug Henderson 11
The last named was a busy man, 33 games for 1st XI and 11 games for 2nd XI
1st round bye
2nd round Arbroath HSFP 2-4 Tayport
3rd round Tayport 3-2 Kingsway Tech College
Semi final Tayport 2-0 Harris FP
Final Tayport 3-0 Timex AFC
Bremner Cup Winners 1978/79: Insets (t-b) Kenny Smith, Ronnie Fleming. Back (l-r) Stuart Davie, Ian Dobie, Ian Lyall, Doug Peterson, Gordon Emslie, Doug Henderson. Front – Micky Hall, Ian Howe, Peter Wilson, Alan Paterson, Gordon Hughes.
1st round Tayport 5-0 Newport
2nd round Tayport 4-2 6th BB ex-members
3rd round Tayport 2-1 Kingsway Tech College 1 (aet)
Semi-final Monifieth 2-3 Tayport
Final Tayport 3-2 Invergowrie (at Claypotts)
Alliance Cup Winners 1979: Insets (t-b) Derek White, Sandy Hamilton, Cammy Milroy. Back (l-r) Matthew Lawson, Jimmy McCafferty, Frank Feechan, Rab Hanlon, Willie Lawson. Front – Rab Downie, Roddy McCafferty, Gary Cockburn, Bobby Wilson, Neil Downie.