Sunday 18th March 2018
DOUGIE HILL is in a very exclusive club.
There are a number of players who have a medal to remind them of winning what is now the Irn Bru Cup. But most of them don’t.
And only a very small number of them have a man of the match award alongside it on their mantelpiece.
On Sunday, April 6 2014, Dougie became one of those players.
It may have been John Baird who scored the goal that gave Raith Rovers a 1-0 win over Rangers in the final at Easter Road.
But Dougie’s defensive efforts saw him named top player overall.
Now he hopes to do it all over again – at least the medal-winning bit – with Dumbarton when they play Inverness CT in this year’s final on Saturday.
And there is, in fact, a Sons connection to Dougie’s previous triumph. It’s just one he prefers to forget.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Dougie said: “Raith’s next game after the final was against Dumbarton. They lost 3-1 and I got sent off!
“I shouldn’t actually have played that day as I had a bad shoulder, but Raith needed me to play.
“In the second half Garry Fleming turned me on the edge of the box and I brought him down. It was a definite red card.
“But the Sunday before that was a fantastic day and it made it even more special to be man of the match.
“Rangers had Jon Daly upfront, and Nicky Clark later in the game, so it was a special moment for me to win the award.
“It was one of the best days of my career, along with winning the league (with Cowdenbeath in 2006), reaching the Scottish Cup semi-finals (with Raith in 2010) and winning promotion with Brechin last season.
“Now I hope I can do it again with Dumbarton.
“It would be great to do that. I’ve said to the young players that it might be their last chance. It’s great for me to get another opportunity.
“The final is against a team we’ve already beaten this season – and it’s also a team we can realistically catch in the league. We are confident.”
Dumbarton’s bid to catch Inverness CT in the Championship has had a boost in recent days with back to back victories over bottom side Brechin City.
But for Dougie, it has been a bittersweet experience.
Having been part of the Glebe Park side’s promotion celebrations last season, he has now helped Sons take all 12 points off them as part of their still-winless league campaign.
Dougie, who played the final 20 minutes of yesterday’s 3-1 victory, added: “I’m delighted with the results. It’s not about me, it’s about the team.
“We’re now on the coat tails of Inverness CT and Falkirk and hopefully we can now kick on.
“I have a lot of friends at Brechin and it’s not been easy for them this season. I wish them and the club well going forward.
“But my friendship with the players ends temporarily when we’re on the pitch in opposition.”