Scottish Women’s Cup final: Hibernian and Glasgow City renew rivalry for last trophy of the season

(From left to right): Glasgow City manager Scott Booth, Glasgow City midfielder Rachel McLaughlin, Hibernian captain Joelle Murray and Hibernian manager Grant Scott will compete for the Scottish Women’s Cup at Tynecastle on Sunday. (Credit: Jamie Braidwood)

 

Sunday’s Scottish Women’s Cup final will see the latest chapter of the fierce rivalry between Glasgow City and Hibernian Ladies F.C unfold.

It seems only right that the last final of the decade will be contested by the two teams who have enjoyed a duopoly over Scottish football over the past 10 years, and have swept the board in terms of domestic honours.

In one corner there is Glasgow City, whose dominance over the Scottish Women’s Premier League has been unprecedented. City have won the last 13 titles and clinched their latest success earlier this month.

Hibs, meanwhile, have ruled over the domestic cup competitions in recent years. They have won the last seven domestic cups – four Premier League Cups and three Scottish Cups – and on Sunday have the chance to beat City and maintain that remarkable record.

“When we started on the cup run [in 2016] we never would have thought we would have been in the position to retain the cup for the fourth consecutive year,” says Hibs captain Joelle Murray ahead of the final.

“We’ve got confidence in the squad but there’s no arrogance. We appreciate and respect the challenge that City continue to bring in the cup competitions.”

Hibs and Glasgow City have already won trophies this season heading into Sunday’s final. (Credit: Jamie Braidwood)

 

Hibs have already tasted victory over their rivals in a cup final this season, beating City in a tense penalty shoot-out to win the Premier League Cup in May, but were once again second best in the league.

It was the fifth season in a row that Hibs had finished second to City in the league, but this season was tough to take. After only finishing three points behind City last year, Hibs regressed and finished the campaign nine points behind their rivals.

Sunday’s game offers Murray and her team-mates another shot at revenge.

“To have that disappointment is very frustrating but on the flipside, to have a Scottish Cup final to look forward to so close to the end of the season is an opportunity to take away from that disappointment,” she says.

“Over the last few years winning the Scottish Cup has taken away from that disappointment ever so much. So it’s another opportunity on Sunday try and get over the league loss for us.”

Both Hibs and City reached the knockout stages of the Women’s Champions League this season. But while Hibs’ campaign was ended in September by Slavia Prague, City have advanced to the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history. They will face German champions Wolfsburg in March. For now though, all focus is on winning the Scottish Cup on Sunday.

“It’s been a while since we’ve lifted the trophy and we’re very hungry to do it this time,” says Glasgow City manager Scott Booth.

“It would be a fantastic end to what has been a very good season for the club. We know it’s going to be close because Hibs always prove to be tough for us in the league and the cup.

“They’ve been better than us in the cup for the last few years, but we’ve talked about this since from the start of the season that we have focussed on taking this one back off of them.

“We’ve had so much disappointment in the cups over the last few years, and we don’t want to go through that again.”

Sunday’s final will be held at Hearts’ Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh, which is also fitting after Hibs’ city rivals secured promotion to the Women’s Premier League last weekend.

And in what has been a momentous year for women’s football in Scotland, with the national team competing in the World Cup finals over the summer, there is hope that Sunday’s final will see a good turnout for the final game of 2019.

“It’s an advantage [to both teams] hosting the final at a stadium like Tynecastle,” Murray says. “It’s a stadium very fitting of the occasion and on Sunday I’m hoping it will be full of both Hibs and City fans. I would like to think whether it’s Hibs, City or neutral fans, that we get a big attendance.”

The Scottish Women’s Cup final between Glasgow City and Hibernian Ladies kicks off at 4:10 p.m. on Sunday November 24. Entry is £7 for adults, £3 for concussions, and free for under-12s. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the gate.

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