Glasgow City are this evening celebrating a fourth successive domestic treble after a convincing 3-0 success over Hibernian in the Women’s Scottish Cup Final, writes Graham Semple.
The star of the show, Clare Shine, capped a fine performance with a hat-trick on a wet and windy day in Edinburgh as City’s unrelenting success continues.
With a forceful wind at their backs, City dominated large chunks of the first period and almost made the ideal start. Shine flicked a Hayley Lauder cross goalwards but her audacious effort grazed the crossbar and drifted to safety.
The former Raheny United forward was again involved in the thick of the action thirteen minutes later but she was unable to find the target with a headed effort after a pinpoint cross from Leanne Ross.
City continued to dictate proceedings and were the width of the post away from taking a deserved lead. Lauder created space for herself and fired a left-foot shot that skipped off the sodden surface and clattered the upright.
The Glasgow side were forced to reshuffle the pack due to an injury to Nicky Docherty who fell awkwardly after a challenge with Abi Harrison. Lauder moved to left-back and Susan Fairlie entered the fray however the pattern of the match did not alter.
With half-time fast approaching, City made their superiority count. A high and aggressive press from the champions forced the Hibs defence into error and the ball rolled kindly into the path of the deadly Shine who lifted the ball beyond Jenna Fife and into the net via the crossbar: 1-0 to City.
The second period was more evenly contested but it was the Glasgow side who enjoyed the bulk of the opportunities. Erin Cuthbert rattled the crossbar with a fine effort after a barnstorming run, and the tenacious midfielder then forced the Hibernian goalkeeper into a wonderful one-handed stop after another fearsome drive from distance.
Lia Tweedie then tested the reflexes of Lee Alexander but the lively and exciting Hibernian frontline was well marshalled for the majority of the contest by a resolute and compact City defence which adapted well to the atrocious conditions.
It looked like a single goal was going to be enough for City but they managed to extend their lead four minutes from the end. Shine latched on to a speculative lobbed pass by Cuthbert and leathered the ball beyond the helpless Fife.
The 20 year-old forward was not going to settle for a brace on cup final day though, and with virtually the last kick of the game she took full advantage of a defensive mistake to complete a memorable hat-trick as City bagged yet another trophy in style.
Glasgow City: Alexander, Ross, McMurchie (McCulloch 90’), Corsie, Docherty (Fairlie 28’), Love, Lauder, Grant (Crilly 68’), Shine, Cuthbert, O’Sullivan
Subs Not Used: Cunningham, Rafferty, Fleeting, Montgomery
Hibernian: Fife, Hunter, Tweedie (Williamson 68’), Robertson, Arnot, Smith, Murray, Harrison, Richards (Cornet 78’), Brownlie, Arthur
Subs Not Used: Johnstone, Heron