In 1984 Larkhall Thistle qualified unexpectedly for the Evening Times Cup Winners Cup.
Evening Times Cup Winners Cup Semi-final, Wednesday 13th June 1984
Station Park, Baillieston
Larkhall Thistle 3 Petershill 0
Thistle caused a major upset by beating back-to-back league champions Petershill through a 32nd minute own goal by Peasies Ian Young, a Peter Wharton penalty in 62 minutes and a third by substitute Billy Thomas twelve minutes from time. At the time the trophy was seen as the most prestigious in the Central league and it was a great achievement by the Jags to reach the final.
Despite not having played for three weeks, the Lanarkshire men were on top throughout and thoroughly deserved the win against their illustrious opponents, Thistle keeper McFarlane even saving a penalty from Dailly.
The Jags had only qualified for the Cup Winners Cup after Pollok won the Dryburgh Cup and then beat Thistle in the Central League Cup final, Thistle qualifing through being runners-up.
Jags manager George Dickson was in the mood to go all the way after this terrific result, he said after the game that Thistle’s season had been over but now they had been given another chance, were determined to make the best of it regardless of who they faced in the final.
On Saturday 23rd June Thistle went on to meet Pollok in the final at Tinto Park, after the ‘Lok had beaten Cumbernauld United in the other semi-final. Unfortunately we lost out to the Glasgow giants.
Evening Times Cup Winners Cup Final, Saturday 23rd June 1984
Tinto Park, Govan
Pollok 3 Larkhall Thistle 0
The Jags fell at the final hurdle as they lost out in the final to Pollok in front of 2000 fans after a below-par performance. An early wrist injury to captain Gerry Hamilton didn’t help matters as the skipper had to play almost the entire game in a lot of pain.
After a goalless first half the game looked like it might be heading for a 0-0 draw, until disaster struck in the 76th minute when Pollok took the lead through man of the match Jamie Graham. It looked all over for Larkhall when Derek Lea added a second in the 82nd minute and two minutes from time it was over, Pollok scoring through a Lea penalty to seal the match. Thistle’s Peter Wharton was sent off in the penalty incident.
So a bold effort by the Jags but sadly it wasn’t to be on this occasion.