Excuse my ignorance, I was just not brought up following the Junior game. But in my researches this week into the 1897/98 season and trying to put together an idea of the local Junior teams & Competitions has given me an inkling into why Junior football is so byzantyne. One club: Heather Rangers of Stenhousemuir.
In 1897/98 Heather Rangers competed in the Scottish Junior Cup, the stirlingshire Junior Cup, the Falkirk District Junior Cup, The Falkirk District Junior League, the Falkirk Cottage Hospitals' Junior Shield, the Stirling District Junior Cup & the Stirling District Junior League [nb - The Stirling District Junior Cup was two legged, and both the Stirling District Junior competitions did not start until after Christmas].
Now, you will obviously be shocked that they did not fulfill their fixtures [some of the cup matches having to be played in the next season], but this is a bugbear of mine, very little is known of these competitions, and even though some of us are trying to record them, so little was published that it is nearly impossible from this remove. And another, will Stenhousemuir make up its mind as to whether it is in Falkirk District or Stirling District.
Known Matches by Heather Rangers in 1897/98 Aug 21 Airth Castle Rangers 3 Heather Rangers 1 Friendly Sep 4 Forth Rangers 0 Heather Rangers 1 Falkirk District Junior League Sep 11 Heather Rangers 1 Falkirk Hawthorn 2 Falkirk District Junior League Sep 18 Heather Rangers 5 Forth Rangers 3 League? Sep 25 Heather Rangers 5 Falkirk Excelsior 1 Scottish Junior Cup 1st Rd Oct 2 Gairdoch Junior - Heather Rangers - Falkirk District Junior League [Heather did not turn up] Oct 9 Heather Rangers 5 Falkirk Excelsior 4 Falkirk District Junior Cup 2nd Rd Oct 16 Heather Rangers 2 Slamannan Swifts 3 Stirlingshire Junior Cup 1st Rd [protest] Oct 23 Gairdoch Juniors 2 Heather Rangers 0 Hospitals Shield? Oct 30 Artizan Thistle 2 Heather Rangers 1 Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Rd Nov 6 Heather Rangers 3 Slamannan Swifts 3 Stirlingshire Junior Cup 1st Rd Nov 20 Slamannan Swifts 6 Heather Rangers 2 Stirlingshire Junior Cup 1st Rd Rep Nov 27 Forth Rangers 2 Heather Rangers 1 Falkirk District Junior Cup Semi @Merch Dec 18 Gairdoch Juniors 3 Heather Rangers 2 Falkirk District Junior League Dec 25 Heather Rangers 3 Larbert Broomage Albion 2 Friendly Jan 15 Longcroft Thistle 1 Heather Rangers 2 Stirling District Junior Cup 1st Rd 1st Leg Jan 22 Heather Rangers 4 Longcroft Thistle 1 Stirling District Junior Cup 1st Rd 2nd Leg Jan 29 Heather Rangers 3 Falkirk Excelsior 3 Falkirk District Junior League Feb 5 Heather Rangers 7 Rising Star 1 Falkirk District Junior League Feb 19 Heather Rangers 3 St Ninians Thistle 2 Stirling District Junior Cup 2nd Rd 1st Leg Feb 26 St Ninians Thistle 2 Heather Rangers 1 Stirling District Junior Cup Aband Mar 5 Tillicoultry Victoria 2 Heather Rangers 2 Friendly Mar 19 St Ninians Thistle 1 Heather Rangers 4 Stirling District Junior Cup 2nd Rd 2nd Leg Apr 2 Heather Rangers 0 Bannockburn 2 Stirling District Junior Cup Semi 1st Leg Apr 9 Bannockburn 5 Heather Rangers 2 Stirling District Junior Cup Semi 2nd Leg May 7 Rising Star 1 Heather Rangers 1 Falkirk District Junior League May 14 Falkirk Excelsior 0 Heather Rangers 1 Falkirk District Junior LeagueI have to add to this that the Falkirk Herald did not publish every football result, it was dependant upon the club sending in match reports/results. I know this as they occasionally published the Falkirk District Junior League Table and the table did not tally with the published matches, but I can only go on what was reported.