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SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND UP AND PREVIEW FOR SATURDAY 12TH APRIL 2014

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There may well be headlines this week about how awful Rangers were but the reality was that Raith were pretty awful too but effective. There will have been dancing and there shall have been drinking but one thing is clear John Baird struck the mighty from their perch and Rangers have one go left to win the Ramsdens’ Cup before they believe they shall become ineligible – but more importantly – Raith Rovers won the Ramsdens Cup in extra time!

SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP

My match of the day ended with Hamilton still on top on goals scored as Martin Boyle for Dundee and Mikael Antoine-Courier for the Accies got the goals that entertained a bumper 4,529 crowd. Falkirk stayed in 3rd and gained some ground as a Rory Loy hat trick along with Blair Alston and Craig Sibbald got the 5 goals that sunk Cowdenbeath. With Queen of the South idle Dumbarton took their chance and thumped Alloa Athletic 4-1 with goals from Mark Gilhaney, Garry Fleming, Scott Agnew and Chris Kane before Liam Caddis got one back for the Wasps. It left Greenock Morton to shock us once again as Dougie Imrie and Barrie McKay got the goals that sunk Livingston.

With only 12 points remaining what was a 2 horse race could turn into a 3 legged one; Hamilton Academical (60) and Dundee (60) are now just in front of Falkirk (54).

In 4th Queen of the South (48) have a game in hand over Dumbarton (45) but need to be careful. Livingston (42) are capable of catching either of them but for Ramsdens’ Cup winners Raith Rovers (39) their game against the Doonhamers which was postponed for the final could be critical.

Raith are far from out the relegation mix and Alloa Athletic (37) losing at the same time that Cowdenbeath (33) did was fortunate for the Blue Brazil. I still think Cowdenbeath  could do it but time is beginning to march against them. Greenock Morton (22) are still not out of it – mathematically at least – yet. The question is of course where did those performances come from and where have they been hiding for far too long?

Preview

Match of the Day

Queen of the South v Falkirk

Jim McIntyre has therefore got Queen’s in pole position in 4th, 3 points ahead of Dumbarton and with a game in hand. This could also be the first game of the playoffs if the season ends as it is today. The Bairns are 1 point away from being confirmed as in the playoffs so this is a game on a knife edge. Falkirk are also, of course only 6 points off the top 2 and had that massive thumping of Cowdenbeath so the momentum is, for me, with them. The Doonhamers have been idle and I think that shall cost them today as I expect an away win here.

Livingston v Hamilton Academical involves 2 teams that have been playing highly attractive football with one of them – the visitors – playing for a place in the Premiership whilst their hosts have an outside chance of the playoffs. This should be another away win for me. Dundee v Cowdenbeath has a home side that has wandered over the last few weeks to get the wins or draws against a team of visitors that are licking their wounds and hoping to grab another point or two on their quest to get out the relegation zone. If it were any other team the Blue Brazil could have hoped that 3 points would get them closer to Alloa as Alloa have a tough tie today. Unfortunately I have no doubt that Paul Hartley’s men will keep things going right to the end of the season and shall maintain the pressure at the top with a win today. Raith Rovers v Dumbarton has two sides that come off great wins last weekend. For the Kirkcaldy side that was a cup win over Rangers but for the Sons, their 4-1 win at home to Alloa may turn out to be just as significant. Without a trophy at stake I expect Grant Murray to lose out to Ian Murray today. Finally Alloa Athletic v Greenock Morton was a contender for match of the day as it has the team that has found form at the wrong time of the season up against a team I saw last weekend that were woeful. In a weekend where I am predicting away wins all over the country, this for me is another one. If Cowdenbeath also lose then Morton are still in the Championship for another week….

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About Author

A lifelong supporter, since seeing Alex Ferguson play for them, of Ayr United he now contributes here, at KickTalk and Ringside Reports for things sporty. He is also a theatrical type and an educationalist. As an Ayr fan he clearly can explain the inexplicable, place fanatical faith in the most fantastic of dreams and deal with dark periods of depression and disappointment. Perfect as a teacher..

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