Over 4,000 Dunfermline supporters entered through the turnstiles of Morton’s Cappilowe stadium to witness their side seal promotion back into the Scottish Premier league. Goals from Steven McDougall and David Graham gave Dunfermline a win over Morton to secure the Division One title and a place in Scotland’s top flight. It’s been four years since “The Pars” last played in the country’s top flight and as for the circumstances in which this four year wait came to an end I don’t think there is a Dunfermline fan who would argue it could have been any sweeter.
The crunch match between Dunfermline and Raith Rovers just over a week ago proved to be a vital three points for the Pars as they saw off their Fife rivals and ultimately took a giant step towards the title. A local derby league decider you could have been forgiven for thinking that one was going to be laden with controversy however it proved to be a great advert for the Scottish game. Perhaps the only controversy was the pre-match antics of Dunfermline mascot “Sammy the Tammy” who appeared on the pitch “driving” a tank made out of cardboard boxes and aimed at the away fans as the sound of machine gun fire blared through speakers before the derby at East End Park. The mascot and the club were offered a word of caution by the police after the incident. The general consensus of this among Football fans was that this was either just good honest football banter or those on the other side of the fence argue it was an insensitive and ill-advised stunt. Whatever the views are on this incident the game itself had no such controversy, the three points went to Dunfermline after they had come from a goal behind to claim the victory.
The first division this year has been as exciting as any previous on record. The cocktail of local derby’s and long standing rivalries between the sides competing meant there was scarcely a week went by without at least one mouth-watering fixture. The fact that Dunfermline fought off the promotion efforts of local rivals Raith Rovers and perhaps their most fierce rivals Falkirk, makes the champagne at the promotion party taste all the sweeter. In truth the race for the title could have went either way, at times it looked as though Dunfermline may have lost their grasp on a return to the SPL. This however was not the case and in the end the best team in the Division were crowned champions – few could grudge them this honour.
After the match Pars boss Jim McIntyre told BBC Scotland: “It is a great feeling to get over the line and that’s what we’ve been striving for all season. We have done it with some style.”
Dunfermline have the trophy presentation to look forward to this week at East End Park as they play Falkirk in their last fixture of the season– although I’m not sure how many Falkirk fans will accept their invite to the Dunfermline promotion party.
It’s a time to celebrate for Dunfermline Athletic as they head back to where they feel they belong. It will be a long season playing in the SPL next year for the Pars as they look to survive and establish themselves once more and ensure that come this time next year they won’t be making the return journey.