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Monday 24th April 2017

Weekend in numbers

Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers behind the weekend games, with the focus on Aberdeen, Celtic, Falkirk, East Fife and Montrose…

Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers behind the weekend games, with the focus on Aberdeen, Celtic, Falkirk, East Fife and Montrose…

17 – Aberdeen reached the Scottish Cup final for the first time in 17 years after beating Hibernian 3-2 at Hampden on Saturday. The Dons’ last semi-final success in 1999/00 also came against Hibs, when Andy Dow scored the winning goal after Arild Stavrum had cancelled out Russell Latapy’s opener. Aberdeen reached both major cup finals that season but lost to Celtic and Rangers. Derek McInnes’ side will face Celtic in next month’s showpiece – the Bhoys were also the opponents the last time the Dons won the trophy in 1990. In fact, the Dons have won each of their last three Scottish finals against Celtic, in 1970, 1984 and 1990 – their last defeat to Celtic in the Scottish Cup final was 50 years ago.

56 – Celtic made it to the final after defeating rivals Rangers 2-0 at Hampden in Sunday’s second semi-final. The Hoops have reached 56 Scottish Cup finals, more than any other club, but this will be just their third Scottish Cup final in the last decade. Brendan Rodgers’ side have already won the Ladbrokes Premiership and Betfred Cup and are now just one win away from sealing the treble for the fourth time in their history. Celtic’s opponents in this year’s final are Aberdeen, who they already defeated in the Betfred Cup final. This is just the fourth time in Scottish football history that both major cup finals have been contested by the same two sides – Celtic and Rangers met in both finals in 1965/66 and again in 1970/71 while Rangers and Aberdeen locked horns in the final of both competitions in 1992/93.

10 – Falkirk remain second in the Ladbrokes Championship after coming from behind to defeat Dunfermline 2-1 at East End Park on Saturday. The Bairns are now unbeaten in their last 10 matches against the Pars in all competitions, a run which includes eight wins and two draws. The last time Dunfermline defeated Falkirk was on the final day of the 2010/11 season, when a Nick Phinn double and a goal from Pat Clarke handed them a 3-0 victory. Peter Houston’s side made a slow start to the season but have lost just two league matches in 2017 and find themselves in pole position to seal second place and a bye into the Ladbrokes Premiership play-off semi-final.

4 – East Fife climbed back up to third in Ladbrokes League 1 after beating Albion Rovers 1-0 at Cliftonhill on Saturday. Barry Smith’s side had gone six league matches without a win but Jason Kerr’s 63rd-minute strike handed them a crucial success to boost their chances of reaching the play-offs. The race could scarcely be tighter – only goal difference separates East Fife in third, Brechin in fourth, Airdrie in fifth and Queen’s Park in sixth with just two matches remaining. The Fifers have a substantial goal difference advantage over their rivals and know that victories over Airdrie and Stranraer in their final two fixtures will send them into the play-offs and give them a chance to reach the second tier for the first time in 20 years.

21 – Montrose defeated Berwick Rangers 1-0 at Shielfield to climb up to fourth place in Ladbrokes League 2 with just two matches remaining. Stewart Petrie’s side were 10 points adrift of the play-off spots after losing to Stirling Albion on March 11 but since then they have picked up five wins and a draw in six games. The Gable Endies have been in the bottom tier of Scottish football since 1995/96 and narrowly avoided relegation to the Highland League two years ago but now find themselves on the verge of reaching the promotion play-offs for the first time since 2007/08.