preview SPORT





Events are listed alphabetically by sport, then by da . Fixtures are correct at time o publication, but may be affected by weather. Sports listings compiled by Brian Donaldson.


Scottish Claymores v England Monarchs Stilt l7. Murrayfield. lidinburgh. 3pm. Week seven and time for the Scots to get their season rolling. And what better scalp to gain than the Mona t‘clts“ '.’

Scottish Claymores v Frankfurt Galaxy Still 24. Hatnpden Park. Mount Florida. (ilasgow. 3pm. Construction work on the redeveloped national stadium takes a pause for a couple of hours as the Claymores attempt to salvage something from their season with the help of the Hatnpden Roar For tickets call the Claymores hotline on 0500 353535.


Glasgow Hash House Harriers Mon Ix. Strathclyde Park Inn. Strathclyde l’ark.

Key players: Richard Gough plays his last game for Rangers, while Hearts keeper Giles Rousset hopes to keep a clean sheet

l l

Final countdown

Glasgow meets Edinburgh in this year's TENNENTS SCOTTISH CUP FINAL, but can Hearts break west coast dominance of football by beating Rangers? Words: Julian Taylor

As Scottish football lets out its collective breath after a towering finale to the season. the Tennents Scottish Cup final is now the focus of attention. heralding a

I Glasgmv-Edinburgh showdown.

On this occasion. it is perfectly poised. For once. Rangers find themselves in the unusual position of realising that failure to defeat Heart of Midlothian will ensure their legion of fans enter a new era starved of domestic silverware. Outgoing manager Walter Smith. soon to be replaced by Dutchman Dick Advocaat. has an enviable record ~ thirteen trophies since embracing the post from Graeme Souness in 1991. He will undoubtedly be imploring his now veteran squad of troops for one final fling against a Hearts team that has been compelling to watch all season.

Likewise. the love affair between Rangers supporters and Brian Laudrup will be brimming with poignancy. as the Danish Blue leaves to direct his sublime skills in swinging London with Chelsea. Departures will also ensue for captain Richard Cough and the ubiquitous Ally McCoist. so the urge to sign off with a flourish will be massive.

‘l’ve always said Hearts would provide a strong challenge throughout the season. and it was no surprise that they stayed the course of the title race.‘ says Walter Smith. ‘We need to show the right

E‘Jaitci’ Smith

’People keep mentioning the sentimental aspect oi the match for us, but reaily it’s simply about making sure we can bring the (up back to ibrox.‘

attitude on the day if we hope to succeed. People keep mentioning the sentimental aspect of the match for us. but really it’s simply about making sure we can bring the cup back to lbrox.‘

Hearts meanwhile have their own ghosts to exorcise. the pressure being on them to deliver their first major trophy unbelievably - for 36 years. If the Maroons could upset the odds. it would. for capital football. partially compensate for rivals Hibs' sad freefall into Division One. However. Hearts' inability to defeat either of the Old Firm in this year‘s campaign suggests they may have to play the waiting game a while longer. Moreover. the Tynecastle club have suffered at the hands of Rangers in recent finals a 5-] mauling in the I996 Scottish Cup and a 4-3 Gama-inspired defeat a few months later in the Coca- Cola Cup.

Boss Jim Jefferies and his assistant Billy Brown have quite rightly received due respect respect from all quarters. The manager. having seen young pretenders like Neil Mc(‘ann. Paul Ritchie and Gary Naysmith come of age. is in a positive mood as the crunch approaches.

‘I knew that the potential was there and the young players at the club needed time.‘ Jefferies offers. ‘Once we apply ourselves. it comes down to ability. and we are a match for anyone. With the money that Rangers are spending. they will always be favourites. but they might get a surprise. I say to the young players here that they have no idea how they will go down in history if they do win something. And we will win sometime. we will.‘

With both managers admitting the renewed sense of east-west rivalry is good for the game. Hearts fans know they will never have a better opportunity to take centre stage in Glasgow against a Rangers team ripe for reconstruction. Bridesmaids no more?

The Tennents Scottish Cup Final kicks off at 3pm on Sat 16 May at Celtic Park, Glasgow, and is broadcast on BBC1.


Glasgow Hash House Harriers Wed 27.

Kincaird llotcl. Milton of(‘ampsie 7.30pm.


Saturday 16


Dunfermline v Heriots FP McKane Park. Limekilns Road. l)unfermline. l lam.

Hillhead V Kelburne llughenden. Hughendcn Road. Glasgow. 1 lam. West Lothian v Stenhousemuir Boghall. lidinburgh Road. l.inlithgow. l lam.

Full cycle: top names come to Scotland for Prutour 98

14—28 May 1998 rue usrar