hibs gained meagre consolation for their Scottish Cup final defeat when, with only six minutes left of the much-postponed last match of this elongated Scottish League season, Gordon Rae headed a picture winner for Hibs’ first victory of the season over the Ibrox side.
Rangers’ goal by Billy Urquhart, however, brought their league total to 52, and thus they, and not Morton, qualify for the Drybrough Cup tournament.
An exercise for the 3000 fans was to identify the Rangers players for the Ibrox side differed in seven positions from their Scottish Cup-winning team. The missing stalwarts were Sandy Jardine, Derek Johnstone, Colin Jackson, Alex MacDonald, Derek Parlane, and Tommy McLean.
Another past time for some of the more cruel Rangers fans was to taunt Hibs’ right back, Arthur Duncan, who had scored the winning goal for Rangers in the second cup final replay on Monday evening.
So there was a touch of irony that Hibs’ opening goal should have an own goal flavour about it. Ally Brazil’s shot from 25 yards did not appear to creat a problem for Peter McCloy until Kenny Watson got in the way to deflect the ball into the net. Brazil, however, received the congratulations from him colleagues.
McCloy, incidentally, was playing his 400th game for the club and to mark the occasion he was made Rangers skipper.
McCloy excelled in saving a Rae header and Jim McArthur showed outstanding anticipation in turning away a fierce drive from Derek Strickland.
Hibs’ George Stewart had his name taken for kicking the ball away after a free-kick had been awarded to Rangers, who equalised in 57 minutes when an 18-yard shot from Urquhart gave McArthur no chance.
Rangers brought on both substitutes, Davie Cooper and Bobby Russell going off just before and just after the score which qualified Rangers to play in the Drybrough Cup. Hibs also brought on their substitutes, Arthur Duncan and Stephen Brown going off for Duncan Lambie and Jim Farmer.
Rangers’ Gordon Smith was booked for the same offence as Stewart had committed. Then, in 84 minutes, Rae headed Hibs into the lead from a Colin Campbell cross.
As well as Hibs’ win, it was confirmed that football fans in Scotland would have to dig deeper into their pockets to watch their teams in 1979/80.
Increased admission charges to both Premier League and First Division matches were approved at the annual general meeting of the Scottish League in Glasgow.
The Premier League rose from £1 to £1.10 (or £4.64 to £5.10 in 2017’s money), the First Division from 80p to 90p (£3.71 to £4.17), but the Second Division charge of 60p (£2.78) remained the same.