The Scottish game from the Borders to the Highlands & Islands and beyond
Reality may slowly be returning to Dingwall, the sleepy Highland town with a modest population of 5,000, after the frenzied excitement created by Ross County's shock semi-final victory over Glasgow giants Celtic at the weekend.
There will certainly have been more than a few locals nursing sore heads on Sunday morning after having woken from celebrating the most famous result in their club's short history.
The 2-0 win for County will also have left Celtic's interim manager Neil Lennon with a painful headache, wondering where it all went wrong. The Northern Irishman's chances of landing the Celtic post on a permanent basis have drastically diminished following the surprise defeat.
For Lennon, who as a player more than made up for his speed and skill deficiencies with buckets of passion and commitment, it must have been especially galling to see the lack of fight from his players as they exited the competition with hardly a whimper.
After seeing his side's last chance of winning some silverware disappear, Lennon said: “There was no desire. I'm sick of seeing our players fall over. I am sick of seeing strikers not wanting to go in where it hurts to score a goal for the team. We can't keep clean sheets either as we're too soft. We don't have enough winners.”
It was a damning, frank and accurate assessment. But while it may be the players who should take the blame for the defeat, it is more likely the cup upset will convince the Celtic board that a manager of more experience than rookie Lennon is required to bring success back to the east end of Glasgow.
Ross County, though, deserved their victory and their presence in next month's final provides further evidence for those in favour of an expanded 16-team SPL.
The weekend's other Scottish Cup semi-final between Dundee United and Raith Rovers would not provide a similar fairytale for the First Division side.
David Goodwillie's cool finish and Andy Webster's second half header ensured it would be Peter Houston's men who will return to Hampden on May 15 as favourites to lift the trophy.
Back in the SPL, life is becoming very intriguing at the bottom of the table. Only one point separates the bottom three sides following Falkirk's 2-1 win over St Mirren and Hearts' 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock.
Mark McGhee's Aberdeen also remain far from safe after another defeat – this time a 3-1 reverse at home to St Johnstone – and are now only six points ahead of bottom side Falkirk with the Bairns set to visit Pittodrie this Saturday.
Hamilton Accies, however, gave themselves some valuable breathing space with a magnificent 4-1 win over fourth-placed Hibernian who have now won only three matches in their previous 14.
It is hard to believe John Hughes' charges were at one stage being tipped to split the Old Firm. They may now be looking over their shoulder as Hearts and Motherwell bid to pip them for fourth spot.
Scottish Football League Round Up
Inverness Caledonian Thistle are two wins away from returning to the SPL after a 3-1 win at Palmerston Park over Queen of the South. Dundee, who defeated Partick Thistle 1-0, remain ready to pounce should the Highlanders slip up in their remaining three matches.
The champagne was put on ice at Almondvale where Livingston, only requiring a point to claim the Third Division title, were beaten 3-2 by Forfar. Alloa's Second Division title hopes were also dealt a blow with a similar 3-2 reverse at home to Brechin.
It's been a good week for... Derek Adams The young Ross County manager continues to enhance his growing reputation. It can surely only be a matter of time before he is prised away from Dingwall to take charge of an SPL side.
It's been a bad week for.. Neil Lennon. The Celtic caretaker boss may struggle to land the position on a permanent basis after Saturday's crushing cup exit.
Scottish stats * Club news FFT.com: Features
* News * Interviews * HomeInteract: Twitter
* Facebook * Forums
Latest European Football News
Monaco sign Moutinho and Rodriguez
Zenit to sign Tymoshchuk but snub Arshavin
Gibraltar admitted as UEFA member
Utrecht beat Twente to close in on Europa
Saint-Etienne cling to Champions League hope
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010