There were no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ about this Scottish Cup tie. Followers of both camps agreed that victory went to the better team. What’s more, after the first half an hour, Rangers never looked likely to beat Hearts.
Rangers won the toss and, allying themselves to the wind, forced a corner in the first minute at Tynecastle that came to nothing. Immediately afterwards Rangers goalkeeper George Niven cleared a drop-kick from forward Jimmy Wardhaugh and, amid great excitement, Hearts custodian Willie Duff touched over a long, lingering ball from Robert Little.
Rangers’ pressure was such that their fourth corner accrued after minutes. This was cup-tie football all right, with several indications that one or two players did not like the sight of each other. Amid all the fury Rangers’ Ian McColl and Wardhaugh did not forget the value of the calculated pass.
Visiting forward Donald Kichenbrand made little progress against Freddie Glidden, but he did succeed in securing a corner. That started another Rangers onslaught during which the Edinburgh fans did not want to look as Duff came out and missed the ball. John Hubbard duly returned it across the gaping goal where William Simpson just failed to head in.
Just on 25 minutes Alex Young forced William Rae to concede a corner and, before the danger had been adequately cleared, Alfie Conn failed by a yard to take a lovely pass from Willie Bauld.
Nine minutes from the interval, Ian Crawford broke the deadlock when scored a dramatic goal for Hearts, and a minute later Bauld added a second.
The home fans went fair daft. Never had Tynecastle seen such goals or such scenes of rejoicing.
Crawford’s goal came from Young’s cross and when the left winger shot and beat Niven, George Young tried to keep the ball out with a hand. But the ball crossed the line and, correctly, the referee gave the goal instead of the penalty. Hearts went in again to a shake Rangers’ defence and Conn deceived opponents by flicking the ball to Bauld who practically walked the ball into the net.
The Hearts forwards quickly resumed their trickery, and when Rangers went in Kichenbrand found the Glidden snare as powerful as ever. Samuel Baird, penalised for heaving Dave Mackay over the line, only emphasised Rangers’ alarm.
That was increased when Young beat several Rangers defenders, and Niven’s goal escaped wondrously. Hearts played the football, the forwards were full of running and of planning, and any minute one expected the Castle to rock again.
Ian McColl, one Ranger with ideas, almost changed the picture with a 20-yard shot with which Duff took no risks and touched over.
Then, after 18 minutes, the Castle did rock again. An overhead kick by Mackay was only partially cleared by Little, and Conn from 20 yards walloped a shot past Niven for a great third goal.
Bauld added a fourth after more devastating forward play in 27 minutes, and the Hearts were still going out for more as the final whistle blew.
Hearts would go on to lift the Scottish Cup, beating Celtic 3-1 in the final, and finish third in the league, seven points behind champions Rangers.
Hearts: Duff, Kirk, Mackenzie, Mackay, Glidden, Cumming, Young, Conn, Bauld, Wardhaugh, Crawford.