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Monday 18th April 2016

Weekend in numbers

@splstats looks at some of the numbers behind the weekend games, with the focus on St Mirren, Brechin, East Fife and the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

@splstats looks at some of the numbers behind the weekend games, with the focus on St Mirren, Brechin, East Fife and the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

11 St Mirren defeated Morton 3-1 at the Paisley 2021 Stadium to extend their impressive unbeaten streak against their rivals. Saints have not lost any of the last 11 Renfrewshire derbies, which is their best ever run against Morton. The Ton have not beaten Saints since 1999, when they ran out 5-1 winners at Love Street. Since then, St Mirren have won seven and drawn four, and also succeeded in a penalty shoot-out after one of those four draws. Jim Duffy’s side do, however, remain a point clear of Saints in the Ladbrokes Championship table, and remain in with a great chance of finishing above Saints for the first time since 1997/98.

5 Brechin City moved off the bottom of the Ladbrokes League 1 table after a 5-1 thumping of second-placed Peterhead at Glebe Park. After a poor start to the season, Brechin have suddenly sparked into life in the closing months of the season, and have won six of their last eight matches to give themselves a great chance of survival. In fact, Darren Dods’ side have taken as many points from those last eight fixtures as they managed in their first 26 games. Saturday’s victory was City’s fifth straight home win – the last time they achieved this was in the early days of Ray McKinnon’s spell in charge – between November 2012 and March 2013.

East Fife secured the Ladbrokes League 2 title after drawing 0-0 with Clyde at Broadwood on Saturday. This is just the third time in their history that a league title has gone to Methil – they won this same division back in 2007/08 and also took home the second-tier title back in 1947/48. The Fifers are just the third club to win the fourth-tier title more than once – the others being Livingston and Alloa Athletic. Gary Naysmith’s side earned the title after a hugely impressive finish to the season – they were in sixth place on January 2 but have suffered just one defeat in their last 15 matches to rise to the summit.

14 Hibernian defeated Dundee United on penalties to make their third Scottish Cup final in the last five seasons. The Hibees have now reached the Scottish Cup final on 14 occasions, bringing them level with Edinburgh rivals Heart of Midlothian. Only Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen have appeared in more finals, but the Hibees have won the trophy just twice, with the most recent of those, of course, coming way back in 1902. Alan Stubbs’ men also reached the League Cup final earlier this season – they are the first team to reach both finals in the same season since Celtic in 2010/11.  The last time a team outside of Glasgow managed two finals in the same season was Aberdeen in 1999/00 - the Dons lost out in both finals, and Hibs will be hoping to avoid a repeat.

7 Hibs will be joined in the Scottish Cup final by Rangers, after Mark Warburton’s side defeated Celtic on penalties after a 2-2 draw. This is the first time that both Scottish Cup semi-finals have been settled by a penalty shoot-out – in fact only two semi-finals had ever gone to penalties prior to this weekend (Airdrie beat Hearts in 1991/92, and Rangers beat St Johnstone in 2007/08). Rangers’ last appearance in a Scottish Cup final was seven years ago, when Falkirk were beaten 1-0 thanks to a Nacho Novo goal. For the first time since the Scottish League was formed in 1890/91, the Scottish Cup final will feature two clubs playing outside the top flight. The winners of May’s decider will become the first second-tier club to win the Scottish Cup since East Fife in 1937/38.