Lower league team will be in Challenge final

Queen's Park manager Gus MacPherson, left, with Peterhead's Graeme Smith at yesterday's Petrofac Training Cup semi-final draw. Picture: SNS
Queen's Park manager Gus MacPherson, left, with Peterhead's Graeme Smith at yesterday's Petrofac Training Cup semi-final draw. Picture: SNS
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A TEAM from outwith the Championship will compete in the Final of this season’s Petrofac Training Cup after yesterday’s draw paired League 2 Queen’s Park together with League 1 Peterhead.

For both clubs progression to the final showdown will be a first and they will definitely come up against a Championship side in next April’s final.

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown and golfer Scott Jamieson carried out the draw and they also paired the winners of the outstanding quarter-final tie between Rangers and holders Livingston, which is being played next Tuesday, in a home tie with St Mirren.

The game between the Spiders and the Balmoor men will be the second time that the National Stadium has hosted a semi-final in the competition as Queen’s met Brechin back in 2002. James Allan, who was to go on and find fame as the singer with Glasvegas, put the Spiders ahead, but the Glebe Park men went on to win 4-3.

Head coach Gus MacPherson, who won the Challenge Cup with St Mirren in 2005, is looking for his Queen’s squad to create history as he explained: “It is a fantastic achievement to reach this stage and we will look to go even further. Peterhead have a strong and experienced squad but our players have risen to challenges throughout their time at the club.

“Hopefully they can rise to this one as well.”

Peterhead manager Jim McInally, who had three semi-final disappointments when he was in charge of Morton said: “It is the tie the managers wanted but maybe not the directors. It will be terrific to take the team to Hampden and on paper we have more of a chance of getting through than against the other sides. However, I am sure Gus will be saying the same.

“We have done well in the Petrofac Cup this season where we have scored 11 times. It would be terrific to show that form again in the semi-final and take Peterhead into their first-ever final. After being in semi-finals for three years running with Morton and not winning I would like a win as well.”

St Mirren manager Ian Murray said: “It is probably the toughest draw we could get as we are away from home to a team from our division. However, we competed very well at Ibrox at the start of this season and have had two close games with Livingston already. It is a semi-final and a great occasion for our players to look forward to.”

The ties are due to be played on the weekend of 14-15 November.