Gretna hammer Dundee to reach Scottish Cup final

April 1, 2006

GLASGOW, April 1 (Reuters) - Gretna's meteoric rise up the football ladder reached new heights on Saturday when they beat Dundee 3-0 to reach the Scottish Cup final.

The club from a small town of 3,000 inhabitants just over the border with England plays in the third tier of Scottish football and last week celebrated sealing the Division Two title.

They were admitted to the Scottish Football League only in 2002 and can now look forward to a Cup final against Edinburgh heavyweights Hearts or Hibernian who play on Sunday.

It will be the first Scottish Cup final not featuring either Glasgow giants Rangers or Celtic since 1997.

'This is unbelievable...it never ends does it?' manager Rowan Alexander said.

'That was our Cup final, never mind what happens now. We looked strong in the second half and we have churned it out and churned it out.'

Qualified doctor Kenny Deuchar rounded Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kelvin Jack to slot an angled drive into the net in first half stoppage time.

Ryan McGuffie made it 2-0 after 57 minutes from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Bobby Mann.

Dundee skipper Barry Smith turned the ball into his own net for Gretna's third after 81 minutes.

'It's absolutely magnificent,' said striker James Grady.

'At the start of the season we were looking to win the league, but to get to the Scottish Cup final, it's absolutely fantastic.'

Gretna, backed by multi-millionaire chairman Brooks Mileson, played in the northern English leagues until they were admitted to the Scottish League four years ago, and twice appeared in the first round of the FA Cup.

Until now Gretna had been best known as the goal for eloping couples escaping 19th century English law which prevented anyone under 21 marrying without parental consent.