Greenock HSFP AFC have twice experienced the pain of being Runners Up in the Scottish Amateur Football League Premier Division – from 2008-2009, and again the following season, writes Tom Scott.
SAFL Statistics show their double downfall was firmly at the door of drawn games (5 apiece) during each pressure- pot campaign.
The first Premier season featured a total of 18 games, and table-toppers St Joseph’s AFC had already finished 2008-2009 with 37 points.
Greenock HSFP went into their final match (on 35 points) and knew a win against Inverclyde AFC would hoist them into first place.
However, seventh-placed Inverclyde were in no mood to lie down and on 3rd June 2009, they stunned the visitors with a 4-1 victory.
The head-to-head meetings between the champions and eventual runners-up, saw St Joseph’s hold the HSFP to a 2-2 away draw on 11th October, 2008, and win the return fixture 2-0 the following May.
The “5 Drawn Game” nightmare sadly appeared again the following season.
Oban Saints were crowned Premier Champions – finishing one point ahead of ‘Nock.
The pair won their respective home game played in August and November, 2009 but when a crunch encounter arrived on 8th May, 2010, third-from-bottom Castlemilk AFC threw the proverbial spanner in the works by holding HSFP to a 1-1 draw.
Without a shadow of a doubt that result became part of the Oban Saints team talk a week later, and they held their nerve long enough to edge out fourth- placed visitors Aitkenhhead Thistle 1-0. Definitely Champagne Time!