PETER Grant realised the ambition of every young Scots footballer when he rose above the Inverness Caledonian Thistle defence to power the ball into the back of the Hampden Park net. Unfortunately for the Falkirk defender, the elation was short-lived as a late Inverness counter-attack left him “heartbroken” at the conclusion of his first Scottish Cup final.
Son of the former Celtic hero, young Peter looked set to emulate his dad – who lifted the cup with the Parkhead side in 1989 and 1995 – until James Vincent struck late to win the game for ten man Inverness.
Grant was excellent throughout the match, putting in an imperious performance at the heart of the Falkirk defence, but individual praise was of no comfort to the centre half as he reflected on a missed opportunity to make history for the Championship club.
“It was heartbreaking, it really was,” said Grant. “We’ve put so much into the game. I’m gutted and really disappointed for the boys and the staff because we’ve put everything into it and tried to give as much as we could, but we fell short.
“I thought we had the momentum and were having the better spell at that point. And overall I thought we were the better team. Obviously with the sending off we thought it could have been the turning point and the bit of luck we needed. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”
The young Falkirk side rose to the occasion and shook off pre-match expectations to go toe-to-toe with their top-flight counterparts. Grant was adamant the team will take heart from the display and come back a stronger team after the summer break.
“If we hadn’t played well today I would have held my hands up and say we didn’t. But we took them right to the very end today.
“We have to take the positives from our performance today. It was very cruel. But if we take those positives into next season with a performance like that, I think we’ve got a great chance next year to do something in the league.”