The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Highland League: Teams have made their mark on Scottish game
The Highland Football League was formed at the Inverness Workman’s Club on August 4 1893 and initially comprised eight teams.
Despite initial difficulties, which forced one of the teams to drop out, Inverness Thistle were crowned the inaugural champions on February 7 1894.
In 1954, Buckie Thistle became the first and last nonleague side to win a competitive match against a league team at Hampden Park, where they beat Queen’s Park.
Then, in January 1959, Fraserburgh beat Dundee 1-0 in the Scottish Cup in one of the biggest shocks of all time.
Dundee became Scottish champions three years later.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle – formed through a merger of Inverness Thistle and Inverness Caledonian – and Ross County were elected to the Scottish Football League in 1994. Both sides reached the top flight within 18 years.
At the end of season 201819, Cove Rangers became the first Highland League club to be awarded promotion to the
Scottish Professional Football League, after defeating Berwick Rangers 7-0 on aggregate following a two-legged play-off.
Brora Rangers – among the favourites to win the title this year – began 2019 in fine form and equalled the Highland League record as they reached the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
Earlier this season, Fort
William were victorious over Clachnacuddin to end a two-year spell without a league win.
Clachnacuddin are the proud holders of the record for the most league titles, with 18 in total.
The year 1967 means a lot for Celtic supporters and, while most remember it primarily for the Hoops’ European Cup victory, that same side also triumphed over Elgin City en route to lifting the Scottish Cup.
The Moray team had made it to the second round of the tournament before the all-conquering Glasgow side thrashed them 7-0 at Parkhead.
However, the following year, Elgin City set the record for the furthest a Highland League team has ever reached in the Scottish Cup.
City advanced to the quarterfinals, notching up wins over sides like Arbroath and Forfar Athletic.
Their dreams of making it to Hampden were dashed in a 2-1 defeat away to Greenock Morton.