1984: Fife Flyers bid to land first silverware in six years as they contest Bluecol Cup
A piece of silverware slipped through Fife Flyers gloves 38 years ago.
December 1984 saw the club travel south to contest the Bluecol Cup final against Durham Wasps, bidding to land their first major trophy in six years.
But, after the big build-up, it proved to be a bit of a damp squib.
Flyers took 500 fans south to Streatham Ice Rink in a convoy of seven coaches, cars and trains, with some making the journey without a ticket.
The game formed part of the Plumb Era when the rink was packed to the rafters each weekend, and games were even broadcast live on national television.
The Plumb Line of the player-coach, Danny Brown and Dave Stoyanovich spearheaded a roster that was built in Kirkcaldy with names such as Gordon and Dougie Latto, Stevie Kirk, Chic Cottrell, Neil Abel and Gordon Goodsir.
The team flew from Turnhouse Airport the night before the final, landing at GAtwick and heading to their hotel.
Hopes were high as they headed south.
John Haig, team manager, told the Fife Free Press: “It will be very close and a lot will depend on standard of refereeing, but I think we have the better squad.”
The game was played in front of the TV cameras with 45 minutes of highlights shown on ITV’s World of Sport.
Flyers also played in unfamiliar white jerseys.
They won the forest and third periods, outshot Wasps, but still lost the final 6-4.
Munich of the damage came in the second period which Durham’s fabled Big Blue Machine took 4-0.
Five of the English club’s goals came from imports Paul Tilley and Jamie Crapper, who went on to become a referee.
Tilley got the first after 67 seconds as Wasps spent the opening five minutes in Flyers’ zone.
Dougie Latto tied the game after eight minutes before Plumb fired them ahead on the powerplay.
Wasps replied to lead 3-2 before Stoyanovich went clear after a mistake by Ian Cooper, but couldn’t convert.
The killer goal was Wasps’ fifth by stalwart Ivor Bennett in the last minute of the middle period.
A Danny Brown double raised hopes of a late rally, and then Goodsir struck the post.
But two minor penalties against Fife allowed Wasps to skate out the closing minutes.
Plumb reflected: “Wasps are used to the smaller ice rink. Ours is more of a freewheeling game, skating with the puck which didn’t suit the conditions.”Gordon Latto summed it up: “Durham worked harder than we did.”Home by midnight, the team headed to a party hosted by Ron’s wife, Barbara, to salute their achievements in making the final.
They were back on the ice the next night when 1600 Flyers gave them a standing ovation before watching them thump Blackpool Seagulls 11-6.