Glenrothes Strollers win fife derby final to lift SWFL Cup

Glenrothes Strollers Ladies have won their first silverware, lifting the SWFL cup after a tense but entertaining all-Fife final against McDermid Ladies at the Indodrill stadium in Alloa.

McDermid were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box to give them a last-minute opportunity to take the tie to extra time, but Strollers held on for a 2-1 win in front of around 400 spectators.

Both teams quick out of the blocks early, but Strollers enjoyed the early pressure. After eight minutes Kerri Dinnel latched onto a fantastic long pass from Sam Pattison and floated in a ball behind McDermid goalkeeper Chloe Hunter and into the net.

McDermid skipper Tyler Rattray provided the grit and resilience as a first line of defence as Strollers pressed the advantage, winning a couple of crucial balls in the air and looking to get the balls up early to Sara Davidson.

A few sliding tackles in the rain were a clear reminder that this final was a local derby, and McDermid worked their way back into the game. However, veteran Kerry Dickson was marshalling the Strollers defence to limit shots on target.

Strollers looked dangerous from set pieces, particularly from Kerry Forsyth deliveries from corners, but McDermid were growing into the game. Rattray beat a defender but shot straight at Strollers keeper Holly Bonnie just after the half-hour mark, before she laid off for Shannon Macnamara to do the same moments later. At the other end, Chloe Hunter did well to come out early and smother an attack.

A fantastic cross from Vicki Macdonald just evaded the head of Sara Davidson to the gasp of the crowd on 38 minutes, and Strollers enjoyed the half-time lead.

Both sides were awarded corners in the early stages of the second half. Seven minutes into the half, Rattray rose brilliant to meet a corner and bulleted a header past Bonnelie before being mobbed by her teammates.

But Strollers dug in and were back in front after a corner themselves after the hour mark, Kerri Dinnel looked to have forced it in through the maelstrom for her second, but later admitted it had gone straight in from Forsyth’s corner.

McDermid kept themselves in the game, and with 15 to go Shannon Macnamara floated in a cross for Christina Murray at the back post, who couldn’t quite reach the height needed to connect.

Katie Donaldson had a great chance from a rebound but her low shot was well smothered by Bonnellie to kick off a feisty end to the game. Donaldson was upended by Katie Hutt but McDermid couldn’t capitalise from the free kick.

Tiegan Clark was sent off in the last minute, gifting McDermid a free kick just outside the box and an opportunity for a grandstand finish, but the defence stood firm and saw out the final minute.

Speaking afterwards, Strollers manager Pauline Harley admitted that she had retreated to the tunnel as she couldn’t bear to watch the 90th minute free kick. “When I heard the cheers I thought ‘my goodness’, they’ve scored. Here we go to extra time.” she said. “But then Chris caught me with the medals and that was it.”

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