He took a half day then hit a hat-trick against Celtic

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Post Match - By Brian Fowlie sport@sun­day­post.com

NAME a player who has scored a hat- trick against Celtic at Ham­p­den Park.

There aren’t many. Ally McCoist for Rangers and Joe Harper for Hibs both man­aged to hit the net three times against the Hoops at the Na­tional Sta­dium.

An­other man who achieved the feat is Derek Ry­lance of Ar­broath.

His tre­ble on Au­gust 28, 1972 was billed as the Hoops be­ing rocked by a com­plete un­known in a 3-3 draw.

Forty five years on from his shock hat- trick, Derek ad­mits that he was as sur­prised as any­one to score three times.

Cel­e­brat­ing scor­ing wasn’t some­thing he was used to.

He re­called: “If peo­ple were ex­pect­ing a big cel­e­bra­tion, they didn’t get it.

“I had no idea what you were sup­posed to do in these cir­cum­stances.

“I was a pretty laid- back char­ac­ter and this was all new to me. It was only my eighth start for Abroath.

“I’d signed at the end of the pre­vi­ous sea­son. We were go­ing for pro­mo­tion to the First Divi­sion, but I was nor­mally on the bench.

“We made it up to the top flight and the sea­son started with the League Cup.

“Our sec­tion had Celtic, East Fife and Stir­ling Al­bion in it.

“We played the away game against Celtic at Ham­p­den be­cause they were hav­ing work done at their ground.

“It was on a Mon­day night, so I was work­ing from 8 o’clock in the mor ning at a whiskey ware­house in Perth.

“As I re­call, I man­aged to get the af­ter­noon off for the game in Glasgow.”

Ar­broath ac­tu­ally scored four times in the match. Celtic made it 1-1 with an own goal from Tom Cargill.

Derek said: “Tam took a swipe at the ball about 35 yards out and sent the ball sail­ing over Gor­don Mar­shall’s head.

“My first goal came when I side- footed the ball home af­ter Kenny Payne’s shot had been par­ried by De­nis Con­naghan.

“We were 3-1 down when I got the sec­ond, shout­ing at Billy Pirie to leave the ball so I could shoot.

“The third came when Eric Sel­lars crossed and I jumped be­tween Billy McNeill and Ge­orge Con­nolly to head into the net.

“It was the per­fect hat- trick. The first with my right foot, the sec­ond with my left, and fi­nally a header.”

Get­ting that tre­ble meant Derek was seen by some as a newly-dis­cov­ered goal ma­chine.

He went on: “I played 10 sea­sons with Ar­broath, but never once as a striker.

“I played in de­fence, and most of the time I was at left back.

“There were a few oc­ca­sions when I played in mid­field.

“I might have been listed as num­ber eight or nine, but that didn’t mean I was play­ing up front.

“How­ever, our next match af­ter the Celtic game was Falkirk away – and they put a man marker on me!

“They ob­vi­ously thought I was the man to stop af­ter hear­ing about my goals.”

Ar­broath en­joyed sev­eral suc­cess­ful sea­sons un­der man­ager Al­bert Hen­der­son.

“He was like a sec­ond dad to me,” said Derek, now 65.

“I was al­ways part- time and we didn’t make a for­tune, but I just loved play­ing foot­ball.

“There was a real fam­ily at­mos­phere at the club.

“I scored against Celtic again in a 2-2 draw at Gay­field. Jimmy Bone, who scored our first goal, said: ‘ You must en­joy scor­ing against them’.

“We also had a 3-2 win against Rangers at Ibrox in 1974. The team played re­ally well that day,”

Derek left the Red Lichties in 1981 and was even­tu­ally per­suaded to re­turn Kin­noull Ju­niors – the team he was with be­fore turn­ing pro­fes­sional.

■ Derek Ry­lance as he looked back in 1972.

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