There was no chance I was coming off, says cup final warrior Hill

Dougie Hill, the part-time Raith defender, gets the better of John Daly in the Ramsdens Cup final win at Easter Road. Pic: Neil Doig
Dougie Hill, the part-time Raith defender, gets the better of John Daly in the Ramsdens Cup final win at Easter Road. Pic: Neil Doig

If anyone typified the spirit of the Raith Rovers players on Sunday it was man of the match Dougie Hill.

There was hardly a part of the defender’s white strip that wasn’t covered in grass and mud stains after a heroic display.

He had put his body on the line, even battling through a painful shoulder injury throughout extra-time, to help Rovers win the cup.

“There was no chance I was coming off,” he said.

“We’d used all our subs, but even if we hadn’t, I would only have come off if I had a broken limb.

“It was really sore, and it was frustrating because I was winning a lot of headers, then after the injury, I wasn’t winning very much.

“I was a wee bit annoyed with myself, but I suppose you can only do so much.

“I’m meant to be working tomorrow, but I’ve got a bad shoulder now, so I’ve got an excuse!”

Hill defied his part-time status to put the shackles on Rangers highly paid centre-forward John Daly.

“I read the papers and people were saying that player for player we didn’t have a chance,” he said.

“But it’s not an individual game - it’s a team game.

“You can have the best individuals in the world, but we had a team spirit and belief that we could do it.

“If I missed a tackle Paul was there, if Boothy missed a tackle I was there, if Jason missed a tackle Paul was there.

“We all stuck together and worked for each other and got the rewards in the end.”

Hill’s mind had started to turn towards penalty kicks when John Baird fired home the 117th minute winner.

“I was taking the first penalty so that’s all I was thinking about,” he said

“I was quite far away but when the ball broke to Bairdy and I was just thinking ‘please go in’.

“I was just wanting to see the net ripple, and when it did, it was unbelievable.

“I’m absolutely delighted for Bairdy.

“He’s came here at a low point in his career and he’s kicked on.

“We know what he can do, but he needs to be wanted, and he’s wanted here.”

Hill’s day was made even more special by the fact that around 50 of his close friends and family members were at Easter Road.

“It’s great to share it with the fans and your team mates, but a lot of my friends and family were there as well so it was great to share it with them,” he said.

“It’s a career high for me. Before this it was probably winning the third division with Cowdenbeath, and reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

“But winning a major cup, and beating one of the Old Firm to do it, is incredible.

“People can say it’s only a first, second and third division cup - but it’s a massive achievement for the club. It’s incredible.”