Stranraer............1, St Johnstone...........0

AFTER 126 years in existence, Stranraer have a 100% record of winning major cup finals they appear in. They won their first - the League Challenge Cup - at Broadwood yesterday, beating St Johnstone 1-0. The result was a shock, as much as the game itself was shocking, and keeps the trophy in the hands of a second division club. In a match played in appalling weather, the favourites St Johnstone, from the league above, simply never started to play. Stranraer worked hard and took their only chance, or really half-chance, and hung on for over an hour to win.

Stranraer manager, Campbell Money, in his first full season in the job, was pleased, slightly stunned and realistic about the game and with the result. ``I'm highly delighted for everyone at the club,'' he said afterwards, champagne dripping from his jacket.

``To be honest we hardly passed the ball to one another all day. But, by God, we worked hard for each other and I couldn't have asked the players to give any more. We didn't cause them any real problems at all. We had one chance and scored.''

Such honesty will surely disappear when he becomes more experienced in management.

St Johnstone did have more than a hand in the goal they conceded. In fact they had two hands and an unfortunate foot.

After 26 minutes Stranraer were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal on the left wing. Centre-half Tony Gallagher thumped the ball into the penalty area, leaving it to the mercy of the howling wind and rain.

No Stranraer player ventured towards the cross but goalkeeper Alan Main tried to catch the ball low down. Instead it slipped from his grasp and started rolling slowly towards the line, no doubt wind-assisted.

St Johnstone's Northern Irish internationalist, Danny Griffin, ran in to clear, but instead hit the ball high into his own net.

``I'm sorry the cameras were here, because the stadium announcer gave the goal to me,'' said Gallagher, the man who played in the free-kick. ``Winning the cup will give the club big problems,'' he added, ``the chairman will have to build a trophy room.''

Defeated St Johnstone manager, Paul Sturrock, was not as jovial. ``I'm very disappointed. We played thoughtless football. Had we played more thoughtful football, got some crosses into the box, then we could have broken down Stranraer. But it's the norm in Scottish football, we go 1-0 down and we start to panic. I have no excuses for the players.

``However, I'm taking nothing away from Stranraer,'' he added, ``they did well.''

St Johnstone were certainly not helped by the dreadful conditions. Rain lashed down for most of the 90 minutes and a strong, swirling wind tossed the ball around. Broadwood certainly was not the place to play a neat passing game.

However, St Johnstone played with no determination and less direction. Only Leigh Jenkinson and John O'Neil showed flashes of skill, but not enough to exempt them from blame. St Johnstone were dire.

They only really threatened the Stranraer goal in the traditionally frantic last five minutes of the final, Barney Duffy saving well directly from a Jenkinson corner in the eighty-sixth minute. Attille Sekerlioglu tried to bring some continental flair to the game wearing yellow boots. He played as though he was wearing banana feet.

Stranraer offered honest endeavour. The manner of their goal showed the way to play in the conditions, cross the ball and let the wind do the rest. It was a pity they only got one opportunity to use the tactic.

But they did work hard. Central defender John McCaffrey was named Man-of-the-Match for his policing of Roddy Grant, and Ian McAulay marked Jenkinson largely out of the game. But no one worked as hard as Tommy Sloan. Not only did he plough a largely lone furrow up front, but he played having completed a 12-hour night shift in his job as a baker, at ten o'clock in the morning.

Leading Stranraer to their first trophy in over a century and a quarter is certainly a tremendous achievement for Campbell Money in his first year. His resources are scarce - they had to borrow socks from Clyde to add to their change strip - but his side was well organised and didn't freeze, unlike most of the 5522 crowd.

Campbell's men played with belief, although apparently they sat in silent disbelief in the dressing-room after the match.

From there they went their separate ways to celebrate. Only one of the squad lives in Stranraer, and he wasn't playing. Most live in Glasgow and were saying they would make it a short night as they all had to go to work.

Money reflected on his first cup campaign. ``I think we might have just about broke even,'' he said. However, it might still prove to be a Money-making result.

STRANRAER - Duffy, Duncan, Black, Hughes, Gallagher, McCaffrey, Sloan, Lansdowne, Young, McAulay, Docherty. Substitutes: Robertson, Crawford, McMillan.

St JOHNSTONE - Main, McQuillan, Preston, Sekerlioglu, Weir, Griffin, Tosh, O'Neil, Grant, Ferguson, Jenkinson. Substitutes: Whiteford, Farquhar, Fynr.

Referee - KW Clark (Paisley).