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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 23:47 GMT
Office semi-divided
The CIS Insurance Cup hasn't only thrown up one of the most open tournaments of recent seasons, it's also created divisions in the BBC Sport office.

Here, two fans of the opposing sides give their views on the semi-final between St Johnstone and Hibernian.

JIM MASON - SPORTSOUND PRODUCER AND HIBS FAN

Bobby Williamson
Bobby Williamson was in charge the last time Hibs made it to the final
I have a dark secret. The last time my team reached the CIS cup final...I wasn't there.

The minibus had been booked, the family was mobilised, the champagne was on ice.

We were due to face Livingston, the word skoosh was being banded around with profligate contempt at the foot of Leith Walk.

Turn up, take the plaudits, lift the cup and we'll be back home with the trophy before the last verse of Songs of Praise.

The date was Sunday 14 March 2004. Two goals from Lilley and McAllister killed that particular green and white dream stone dead.

I had a good reason for my absence. I was working on Scotland's Strongest Man in Glenrothes.

While my heroes were wilting in the white hot heat of Hampden, I was watching big men in leotards negotiating an obstacle course while carrying a small car engine. It is a little known fact that four of these large chaps are now classified as Munros.

The point is, of course, that isolation is the fan's worst enemy. The whole point of being a fan is to bask in collective glory or wallow in universal grief.

Football is nothing without social intercourse. From that day on, I vowed never to miss out on any shot at glory by the boys from Easter Road.

You could offer me a chance of directing the world's strongest blonde in Hawaii. If it coincided with a Hibs cup run, you could take your washboard stomach and bulging biceps and...I digress.

Tynecastle is the venue for our latest tilt at cup glory. We face St Johnstone in the semi. The word skoosh is noticeable by its absence. But this time, I'll be there. I've even arranged to meet the office St Johnstone fan in a boozer before the match.

I'll walk in with a paternalistic SPL air and wish him and his Perth cohorts all the best. I'll even say something fatuous like...'as long it's a good game.' Of course, I won't mean it... No-one ever does.

STEVIE MILLER - BBC SPORT ONLINE AND ST JOHNSTONE FAN

Nick Dasovic
Nick Dasovic is St Johnstone's only scorer in a major cup final
It's sad to say, but my team, St Johnstone, have never won a national trophy - well, apart from the Scottish Consolation Cup in 1912 - a competition as prestigious as it sounds.

But Wednesday night sees us coming within one match of ending that drought and, with Kilmarnock and Falkirk the other teams in the semis, we'll probably not get a better chance.

The League Cup has always seemed Saints' most likely way of getting our hands on a trophy. We've made it to the final twice, most recently in 1999, when we lost out 2-1 to Rangers.

It was a phenomenal day out though and I can tell my grandkids I saw my team score in a cup final. How many Man Utd fans are able to say that?

We certainly got our revenge against Rangers in this year's competition - the first time in my lifetime we've won at Ibrox.

Now we're up against a Hibs side described as "talented" and "inconsistent" and, to be honest, our only hope rests on it being the inconsistent ones that turn up - either that or Paul Le Guen dramatically taking over at Easter Road.

We're definitely underdogs, but if anyone out there believes in omens, Saints' last League Cup semi-final was in 1998. And, in a reversal of Wednesday night's opposition, was against Hearts at Easter Road. Saints ran out 3-0 winners.

I've got every digit crossed for a repeat.

SEE ALSO
St Johnstone v Hibernian
30 Jan 07 |  Scottish Cups


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