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Wednesday 27th September 1961

European Cup Winners Cup - First Round Second Leg

St Patrick’s Athletic (Dublin) 0 (0) Dunfermline Athletic 4 (3) (Aggregate: 1 - 8)

The Build-Up

Since the first leg, the Pars had played two Division One league matches. A 2-2 away draw against local rivals Raith Rovers, was followed by a 2-1 home win against Falkirk. Alex Smith and Harry Melrose scored against Falkirk, with the same pair also being on target against Raith.

When the Athletic party arrived at Dublin Airport, they were met by a fleet of cars which took them to their hotel. The hosts also laid on a tour of Dublin District for the morning of the match.

Prior to the game, as well as the traditional pennant, St Patrick’s also presented Dunfermline with a set of Irish music records, with the hope that they would be played over the East End Park PA system.

The Match

Going into the game with a three goal advantage, the Athletic proved to be far too good for St Patrick’s at Tolka Park, Dublin. Outclassing the Irish team for long spells, the Pars impressed the 8000 strong crowd with an excellent display.

The Athletic could not have asked for a better start, finding themselves a goal up after only 10 seconds. From the kick-off, the ball was pumped straight into the St Patrick’s penalty area, where centre-half McCarthy sliced his clearance out to the wing where McDonald was waiting. His cross into the box was met by George Peebles who headed the ball past Lowry into the net.

With the crowd behind the, St Patrick’s responded, but their moves proved too obvious and were easily broken down by the Pars defence, although a Whelan header that narrowly missed the post caused some anxiety.

In 25 minutes, the Pars went 6-1 up on aggregate. With St Patrick’s desperate to get on the attack, they had all but abandoned their defensive duties, which allowed Peebles to race clear on the left. With the Irish defence desperately trying to get back in position, Peebles crossed accurately into the centre, where the ball was sidefooted home by Charlie Dickson.

Having been hit for six, St Pat’s found themselves three down on the night five minutes later. Smith drove the ball for goal forcing Lowry to make a tremendous save. However, unable to hold the ball it fell conveniently for Charlie Dickson who had an easy task to pop the ball into the net. Minutes later, Fraser almost uprooted the post with a rasping shot.

With the tie well and truly won, Dunfermline started the second half with confidence. Further efforts from Smith brought out good saves from Lowry, whilst a Melrose shot rebounded from the junction of the post and crossbar.

With Peebles leading the Irish a merry dance, it was fitting that he should score the Pars fourth goal. In 80 minutes, following a Melrose flick, the ball reached George Peebles who ran on to thump the ball past Lowry.

The four goal victory was testament to the team play of the Pars, and was reminiscent of the form they produced on the way to their Scottish Cup win the previous season. The Dublin crowd were also fulsome in their praise, comparing them favourably with Nuremburg who, a week earlier on the same ground, had beaten Drumcondra 5-0 in the European Cup.

St Patrick’s: Lowry, White, Dunn, Clark, McCarthy, O’Reilly, McGeehan, O’Rourke, Redmond, Whelan, Peyton.

Dunfermline Athletic: Connachan, Fraser, Cunningham, Mailer, Williamson, Miller, McDonald, Smith, Dickson, Peebles, Melrose.

Referee: G McCabe (Sheffield)

Attendance: 8,000


After the game the Athletic party were treated to some wonderful Irish hospitality by their hosts. At a dinner given in their honour, and attended by 150 guests, the possibility of the Pars returning for a short tour at the end of the season was raised. Promising to look at the proposal favourably, chairman David Thomson also said, "the Athletic party had been overwhelmed with the extent of the Irish hospitality – no expense had been spared to make us comfortable.