Match report by Campbell Finlayson. Photo by Lorraine Hill.
Hibernian secured their third straight SSE Scottish Women’s Cup trophy with an 8-0 thrashing of Motherwell at Partick Thistle’s Stadium at Firhill.
A hat-trick from Jamie-Lee Napier and an Abi Harrison double were added to by strikes from Lauren Davidson and Cailin Michie as well as a Maxine Welsh own goal as the Edinburgh side made up for losing the SWPL 1 title to Glasgow City a fortnight ago.
The Hibees raced into the lead inside the opening two minutes when Harrison picked up the ball on the edge of the box before bending a wonderful shot past Autumn Farrell into the corner of the net.
Their great start continued as they doubled the lead on six minutes when Rachel McLauchlan cut back on the left hand side of the box before crossing to the back post where the ball was forced home by Napier.
It was three after just fifteen minutes with Motherwell failing to clear their lines from a corner, allowing Chelsea Cornet to put the ball back into the goalmouth where it was put into the net by Harrison for her second of the afternoon.
Hibs’ dominance continued with Cornet forcing Farrell into a save with a header before Kirsten Reilly fired a Harrison cutback over the bar.
Harrison was forced off with a hamstring injury just past the half hour mark but that didn’t deter Hibs and her replacement, Lauren Davidson, made an immediate impact by adding number four as she rolled the ball under Farrell.
More chances followed for Hibs with Cornet denied by Farrell before Napier saw her shot cleared off the line by Welsh after she’d rounded the keeper. Welsh however wasn’t so lucky minutes later when McLauchlan’s cross deflected off the defender and into the back of the net for number five.
Hibs would add a sixth before the break with Michie jinking in between the Well defence before drilling a shot into the bottom left corner. Michie almost scored again on the stroke of half time but her shot flew just over the bar.
Grant Scott’s side needed just six minutes of the second half to add a seventh goal with Napier heading in her second at the back post from a McLauchlan cross. The 18-year old completed her hat-trick just after the hour mark when she tapped into an empty net from close range after McLauchlan’s shot had been saved by Farrell.
Player of the game, McLauchlan, went close to getting on the score-sheet soon after but her header was well stopped by Farrell once more.
The Motherwell goalkeeper then denied Lauren Davidson twice in a matter of minutes; first keeping out her attempted lob before pushing the striker’s shot from a tight angle out for a corner kick.
Hibs should have made it nine with 13 minutes remaining when a great team move saw Emma Brownlie play the ball across the six yard box to McLauchlan who somehow managed to send the ball high over the bar from point blank range, although she did appear to be offside despite no flag being raised.
There was one final chance for the Hibees in stoppage time when Ellis Notley’s header clipped the top of the crossbar but it made no difference in the end as the referee’s whistle blew to jubilant scenes amongst the Hibs players.
Hibernian: Fife; Brownlie (Williamson, 79), Murray, Hunter (Notley, 59), Michie; Robertson, Reilly; McLauchlan, Cornet (Gallacher, 59), Napier (Tweedie, 70); Harrison (Davidson, 31)
Motherwell: Farrell; Black, Nicolson, Welsh (Russell, 46), Condie; McLaughlin, Turner (Reside, 70), Burns, Cunningham; Hare (Canavan, 78), Mulvey