Written by Chris Marshall
This weekend saw eighteen teams begin their journey to the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final later in the year.
Whilst holders Hibernian will be hoping to retain the trophy for a fourth consecutive season, Glasgow City, who like their Edinburgh rivals are eight time winners of the trophy, will be hoping for a first victory since 2015. Could we see the dominance broken with Celtic, Spartans and Motherwell all having taken points against the big two this season whilst Rangers will continue to bring an air of unpredictability to proceedings. If either of these clubs, or perhaps a name that hasn’t even be mentioned yet go all the way it will be the first time since 2002 where a side not named Hibernian or Glasgow City will have claimed the trophy when FC Kilmarnock defeated Glasgow City 5-0 in the final.
These clubs, along with their SWPL counterparts, will enter the competition at the third round stage with the exception of Dundee United who have been excluded having failed to comply with the 2018 competition rules.
As for this weekend’s first round ties, Dunfermline Athletic were the biggest winners as they put thirteen past Stewarton United as the SWFL 1 North side eased past their SWFL 2 rivals at The Fleet Grounds. There was also a big win for Bishopton as they defeated Granite City 9-2 with Jenny McMahon helping herself to four goals.
Borders Ladies came out 5-0 winners in their South of Scotland derby against Mid Annandale Ladies at Volunteer Park in Hawick whilst the other side from the region, Annan Athletic, were forced to concede their first round tie away to Stonehaven.
SWFL 1 North leaders Aberdeen were comfortable 4-0 victors away to SWFL 2 Morton thanks to goals from Ogilivie, Hutchison, Forrest and Shore and they will be joined in round two by divisional rivals Raith Rovers and Montrose. The Kirkcaldy side currently bottom of the SWFL 1 North table were 3-2 winners at home to Rutherglen whilst Montrose edged a nine goal thriller in beating SWFL 1 Cup finalists Renfrew 5-4 at Links Park and BSC Glasgow shocked hosts Ayr United 2-1.
Meanwhile at Airdrie Leisure Centre it was the hosts who got the better of Livingston based visitors, Murieston United. In an open first half the sides shared four goals in the opening twenty minutes but after the break the home side started to pull away with a hat-trick performance from striker Megan Murray being key to the North Lanarkshire side running out 5-2 victors after what had started out an even encounter.
Airdrie Ladies Head Coach, Jim Morton: “First half we were a wee bit off the pace but the two teams made it a cracking first half. Second half we came out did what we are good at, ball on the floor in what was a cracking game of football.”
On expectations for the rest of the campaign: “I think tis a transitional period for Airdrie and they’ve just missed on promotion two years in the row and I think if we can progress another one round or two rounds it will be good.”
Hat trick hero, Airdrie Striker, Megan Murray: “We played well and were good off the ball and working as a team, two sloppy goals and but we built from it. As long as we play football the way we want to play football, on the deck and pass it about we’ll be happy. That’s me top of the table for goalscoring so chuffed with that.”