a)the bank holiday weekend
b)a chance to visit on the train with a cheapo ticket
c)a massive game
I thought why not give it a go.
In fact the phrase massive game is a little of an understatement. Bo'ness United were not only playing Linlithgow Rose, their fiercest rivals from 3 miles down the road where there is generally no love lost, but these two teams are the only ones that can win the Super League title. BU's task is a little more simpler than Rose's as they have only one game left, which is today's. Win that and they are champions. Rose on the other hand, because of a fixture pile up and their cup exploits (they won the Scottish Junior Cup last weekend), still have seven games to play and, starting with this game, win them all and they would be crowned champions.
With plenty riding on this game it certainly drew a crowd, which I'd estimate at anything between 2,500 and 3,000. This also included a few other hoppers whose faces I recognised. Today there was even a "Brucey Bonus" of a programme, as Bo'ness usually don't bother.
Bo'ness took the game to Linlithgow from the off and some of the large crowd were still entering the ground when Fraser Forrest gave BU the lead after just three minutes. A corner was not cleared properly and the defender prodded home from 8 yards. Bo'ness dominated the first half and Rose, looking a little jaded, had no answers. It was no shock when Bo'ness doubled their advantage on 36 minutes, a superb header from Steven Ballatine and that was a cue the party to begin as the chants of "champione, champione" started to be heard.
The second half was a more even affair as Rose tried, and failed, to claw themselves back into the game and Bo'ness seemed contented with their lot, having done the job in the first half. Bo'ness did have a third goal ruled out towards the end but that couldn't take the shine of their performance which saw them crowned "top league" champions for the first time since 1969.
The final whistle sparked a massive pitch invasion as the local hordes celebrated their clubs achievement and I'm pretty sure the partying would've continued long into the night.
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