Tragedy for WaddellThe loss of a point to Rangers in this game is not their only worry (writes Norman MacDonald). Willie Waddell broke down with a muscle injury. He will be unfit for the international match and the cup final. Just a Hollow Shell of the Old Champions Dons Lend Hibs a Helping Hand By NORMAN MACDONALD IF Hibs can stay the distance, the Scottish League flag will flutter at Easter Road next season for the first time since 1903. The Dons had the key that opened the door for the Edinburgh team. They took a vital point off Rangers at Pittodrie. Waddell was flying up the right touch-line at Pittodrie twenty minutes after the start when he drew up suddenly. He was off the field only five minutes, but when he resumed at outside left he was obviously unfit. A record crowd saw the Dons play as well defensively and better offensively than Rangers. The champions were but a hollow shell of the real Rangers. Rust seems to have filtered into the trim-and-efficient Ibrox attacking machine. It certainly creaked and rattled at Pittodrie. The game will not be remembered as a classic. Rather will it go down in the records as a day on which defenders held the mastery. The tackling of the backs and half backs was incisive as well as decisive. Rangers are in the final of the Scottish Cup and have yet to relinquish the title of champions. In Danger They are in danger of losing both unless the forwards show more originality in their constructive ideas. The Dons were more cohesive and they had more scoring chances than their rivals. Coolness, clever covering and quick-thinking are the characteristics of an Ibrox defence that cannot but inspire confidence. The display of the Aberdeen rear division on Saturday was invigorating. They certainly did not compare unfavourably with Rangers. If Young gets the title of Rangers' champion defender, surely Willie Roy can claim the Aberdeen honour. The centre half will seldom play his part with more distinction. Thornton Held His job was to put brake on Thornton, Scotland's centre forward, and he was completely successful. If Thornton is going to give Franklin, England's centre half, any real trouble at Hampden this week he will have to improve on the Pittodrie form. MKenna was another Don who had one of his best games of the season. Waddell and Taylor succeeded in pinching out the Rangers inside forwards. I was interested in how McLaughlin would comport himself at full back, but unfortunately he played most of the game against the crippled Waddell and was not really tested. Kelly's Dash Kelly as leader of the attack showed any amount of dash. It is not often that Woodburn makes a mistake, but he did on Saturday and Kelly turned it into a fatal one. It was a splendidly-taken goal. It was case a of Greek meeting Greek between Young and Pearson. The Dons' left winger was, not surprisingly, more subdued than usual. It was rather remarkable that a full back should play an important part in the scoring of both goals. Aberdeen showed the way after fifty-seven minutes' play. Kelly chased a clearance by McKenna, beat Woodburn with the ball on the ground and raced on to send into the net. Twelve minutes later Young sent a free kick from his own half hurtling into the Dons' goalmouth. Johnstone punched the ball weakly and Duncanson was certainly not slow in seizing his chance.
Source: Press & Journal, 5th April 1948