Opinion

Sport Opinion

Martin Dempster: Why Dispatch Trophy must never be scrapped

I’d be telling a bare-faced lie if I tried to claim I was anything other than being disappointed not to be heading down to Wentworth for this week’s 
BMW PGA Championship. Who, after all, wouldn’t enjoy spending a few days in the leafy Surrey stockbroker belt watching the events unfold in one of the game’s most prestigious tournaments? Even more so when this staging marks the start of the European Tour’s new mega-money Rolex Series and is being played on a course already earning rave reviews after its latest revamp.

Golf
Celtic went through the Ladbrokes Premiership 2016/17 season unbeaten. Picture: SNS

Poll: Will Celtic go undefeated again next season?

It seems inconceivable, but then we thought the same about a single undefeated season when the media started to hype Celtic’s chances back in November. Besides, Celtic’s current 39-game unbeaten Ladbrokes Premiership run still pales in comparison to the European record, set by Steaua Bucharest in the late 1980s, which stands at 104 league games without defeat.

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Liam Boyce netted both of Ross County's goals in the recent victory over Kilmarnock. Picture: SNS

What next for Ross County talisman Liam Boyce?

Ross County striker Liam Boyce holds all the cards, now he must decide whether to stick or twist, as Daryn MacRae writes

Ross County
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after his side clinched their unbeaten season with a win over Hearts. Picture: PA

How Brendan Rodgers went old school to earn win over Hearts

The Celtic boss came up with a modern version of the once ubiquitous but now extinct 2-3-5 system to get the better of a stuffy Hearts side, as Craig Fowler writes

Premiership 4
Martin Buchan, the only man to captain Scottish and FA Cup winners, lifts the trophy at Hampden in 1970. Photograph: Denis Straughan

Aidan Smith: Why Aberdeen must win the Scottish Cup

No offence to Celtic. Don’t take this personally, Brendan Rodgers, Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney. But Aberdeen simply have to win the Scottish Cup.

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Inverness CT's Kevin McNaughton is comforted at full-time. Pic: SNS/Craig Williamson

The reasons behind Inverness CT’s relegation

Despite three wins from their last four games Inverness suffered relegation to the second tier. For a large part of the season, among the ICT fans, it was inevitable. Jack Thomson looks at the reasons behind the miserable campaign under Richie Foran.

Inverness CT 4
Welsh stand-off Barry John in action during the Lions' 1971 tour of New Zealand. Picture: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Allan Massie: Smith and James the key to Lions’ 1971 success

I’ve been reading When Lions Roared. It’s a splendid account by Tom English and Peter Burns of the 1971 tour of New Zealand, when the Lions, master-minded by their Welsh coach Carwyn James, achieved their only series win against the All Blacks. Ah! Those were the days, though of course those of us at home had to rely on crack-of-dawn radio commentary, there being no satellite TV then. The book is in their now accustomed style, a blend of narrative and comment from the authors with the taped reminiscences of many of the players – some from New Zealanders too.

Rugby union
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright continues to work his magic. Pic: SNS/Alan Harvey

Why St Johnstone are Scotland’s answer to Atletico Madrid

They are the team people seem to forget and the team people enjoy patronising, but under Tommy Wright St Johnstone are the real deal, writes Joel Sked.

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Lisbon Lion Willie Wallace at Parkhead with the European Cup, promoting a BBC documentary on the 1967 triumph. Picture: IMG

Lisbon 1967: The Celtic pilgrimage no fan could miss

It was the pilgrimage that football-daft churchmen simply couldn’t miss, even if that meant making the journey on a plane chartered by what back then would have been called a girlie magazine.

Celtic 1
James Tavernier battles with Graeme Shinnie. Pic: SNS/Rob Casey

Five things we learned about Rangers 1 - 2 Aberdeen

Goals from Graeme Shinnie and Ryan Christie secured Aberdeen their first win at Ibrox in 26 years. Jack Thomson gives his take on a memorable clash.

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The 12 best centre midfielders in Scottish football right now

The top 12 centre midfielders currently playing in Scottish football at the moment, as voted by members of The Terrace Scottish Football Podcast

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East Kilbride's David Proctor, left, battles with Cowdenbeath's Kris Renton during the first leg of the Pyramid play-off final at K-Park. Picture: SNS

Aidan Smith: Pyramid play-off system raises big questions

Forest Green? It sounds like a shower gel. A less than luxurious one as well, of the kind you see advertised on afternoon property programmes because the manufacturers can’t afford the prime-time rates. Or worse, it sounds like a loo cleaner.

Cowdenbeath 4
Barrie McKay celebrates his winning goal against Hearts. Pic: SNS/Craig Williamson

The curious case of Barrie McKay

An exciting, incisive winger destined for the top or an inconsistent, lightweight luxury who goes missing when it matters? Barrie McKay is a curious case, writes Joel Sked.

Rangers 8
Si Woo Kim of South Korea was victorious at The Players Championship, a tournament which saw football colours on show.  Pic: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Football colours have no place at a golf tournament

Golf fans should be banned from wearing football strips at every tournament, writes Martin Dempster.

Golf 19
Last year's winner Jason Day, right, presented the winner's trophy to Si Woo Kim of South Korea after the final round of The Players Championship. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

Supercool Si Woo Kim is first of a new wave of Koreans

It was a glimpse of golf’s future; a taste of things to come. Sunday at Sawgrass was merely the surface being scratched because these supercool Koreans are only just getting warmed up in terms of the impact they can have at the top level in men’s golf.

Golf 1
Prince Buaben is shown a red card by referee Bobby Madden. Pic: SNS/Rob Casey

Why Bobby Madden was correct to give Prince Buaben a red card

The latest edition of Ref Review looks at the red card awarded to Prince Buaben by Bobby Madden in Saturday’s clash between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox as well as the Edinburgh side’s penalty shout which preceded the incident.

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Anthony Stokes two goals in the 2016 Scottish Cup final endeared him to Hibs fans but will he return?  Photograph: Alan Harvey/SNS

Aidan Smith: Anthony Stokes the man and the enigma

The Hibernian team which lifted the Scottish Cup aren’t just immortals, they were a complete one-off. The side selected to start by Alan Stubbs had never played together before and wouldn’t do so again. This is the way of football now, or at least it can be for improbable winners from the second tier. A handful will be loan guys, quick fixes, blink and they’re gone.

Hibernian 18
Viktor Noring fails to hold onto the ball inside his penalty box prior to Rangers' second goal. Pic: SNS/Rob Casey

Five things we learned from Rangers 2 - 1 Hearts

Rangers struggled past ten-man Hearts in a match between two sides who are desperate for the season to end. Joel Sked gives his take on the encounter.

Premiership 15
Clermont Auvergne's English winger David Strettle could be a key man for the French side against Saracens at BT Murrayfield. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Allan Massie: Attackers can turn European final into classic

Two French clubs featured in the previous Murrayfield European Cup final, back in the Heineken days, and it was such a dull, drab and timid game that I don’t remember which they were. Today’s match between Clermont Auvergne and Saracens promises to be considerably livelier. They are the two best teams in Europe, even though neither may finish the season as their national champions; and both play intelligent and often audacious rugby.

Champions Cup 3
Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes and Celtic's Scott Brown in action during the Betfred Cup final. Picture: SNS

Quiz: How well do you know 2016/17 Scottish football season?

The season is drawing to a close with the lower leagues having wrapped up their regular seasons and the Ladbrokes Premiership just three games from finishing. Test your knowledge of what’s occurred in Scottish football over the past 10 months.

Premiership 2
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