Part Three - Ferranti in the Scottish Cup II
Now knowing what to expect Ferranti were better equipped to make a serious assault on the Scottish Qualifying Cup. And so it proved. Both Threave Rovers and Burntisland Shipyard (for the second year running) were dispatched to book a place in the First Round draw for the Scottish Cup itself, before Thistle ran into a successful Edinburgh University side in the semi-final. With home advantage Ferranti were confident of success but failed to account for the University's stout defence, which earned them a replay at home. A week later the sides replayed and to the delight of the entire club Ferranti won 2-1 to reach their first Qualifying Cup final.
Back in the early 70s the final was a two-legged affair and the opponents were to be City rivals, Civil Service Strollers who had beaten St Cuthbert's Wanderers, Gala Fairydean, Vale of Leithen and Hawick Royal Albert en route to the final. Ferranti had home advantage in the first leg and made it count. In a one-sided game Martin (2), McArthur and Nisbet all but made the second leg and formality in a 4-0 win. The second leg was something of an anti-climax with only a huge Ferranti collapse going to stop the City Park side from claiming the silverware. In the end a 2-0 win was secured and Thistle won the tie 6-0 on aggregate. The Scotland's premier non-league honour had been won.
The draw for the first round gave the club a bye and by a quirk of fate the second round opponents were Civil Service Strollers, whom Ferranti had already defeated twice in the Qualifying competition. With this psychological advantage Thistle made it three out of three, winning 1-0 at City Park, in front of 225 spectators.
This victory put Ferranti into the third round draw and onto the back pages of the national press. Theoretically Ferranti's works side could now be facing amongst others, the famous Celtic side - champions of Scotland, by then, for eight consecutive seasons. As it was the more modest Partick Thistle side came out of the hat with Ferranti, and it was going to be a battle of the Thistles at Firhill.
On Sunday 27th January 1974, the sides met and with Partick being an established First Division club the odds were stacked heavily against a shock. The bookmakers view proved to be the correct one with Partick hitting Ferranti's net six times, with Ronnie Glavin notching a hat-trick. The non-Leaguers did give a reasonable account of themselves and scored a consolation through prolific striker Charlie Crawford. Ferranti team - Gray, MacDonald, McGurk, Nisbet, Robertson, Connelly, Crawford, Bell, Martin, Birrell & Sivewright. Subs - MacArthur & Brock.
Despite the final 6-1 scoreline Ferranti had caught the public eye and in the months to come this publicity would prove to be crucial as Ferranti attempted to take a major step forward.