St.Mungo's Pull Off Senior Shield Double
St.Mungo's High School from Falkirk approached the LloydsTSB Scotland Senior Girls Shield Final in the knowledge that victory would see them complete a formidable double in holding the Boys and Girls Senior Shields simultaneously, done only once before by St.Augustine's High School from Edinburgh in 2002. Webster's High School stood in the way of St.Mungo's on a bright evening in the capital, Spartans' Ainslie Park the setting for the last SSFA girls match of the season.
Possibly with the weight of expectation on their shoulders St.Mungo's started very briskly and banished any nerves almost immediately, taking the lead in the third minute. Shelby Kearney charged down the right-hand side of the field and advanced into the penalty area. She shot low, right-footed from the right side of the area. Webster's goalkeeper Dana Soutar saved well, but the ball rebounded to St.Mungo's Hollie Lister, who had the easiest of tasks to tap into the unguarded net.
Webster's almost hit back immediately as play swept to the opposite end of the pitch. Cheryl Kilcoyne fed Ecla Peters who shot low to the right of Katie Hannan, the St.Mungo's keeper; but the goalie swooped to hold the forward's effort. Play then started to settle, but St.Mungo's were in the ascendency at this juncture.
After 8 minutes they could have doubled their lead: Kearney's inswinging corner was met by Aimee Thomson six yards out. Her attempt was blocked by Amy Doyle, assisted by her goalkeeper at the expense of another corner kick.
This merely staved off the inevitable. Following two subsequent corners – both of which were cleared behind – Kearney took the fifth corner of the sequence. This would prove decisive as the kick was scrambled as far as Kayleigh McCann, who slotted the ball coolly into the corner of the net from six yards with her right foot with ten minutes on the clock.
A minute later St.Mungo's looked to add to their lead. Chelsea McKay broke down the left and squared to Colette Tweedie who shot with her left foot from twelve yards, only to be foiled by Soutar in the Webster's goal. Eight minutes later another St.Mungo's corner caused consternation in the Webster's goal area, as Kearney's dangerous delivery was narrowly headed wide by Claire Hutton. After 21 minutes Soutar in Webster's goal again had to look lively: McKay's flick-on from McCann's cross forcing a smart save from the custodian.
With around ten minutes remaining in the first half, Webster's forced a succession of corner kicks, as they sought to mount a come-back from the same source as St.Mungo's second counter, following fine interplay between Emily Rennie and Nivana Crighton. Crighton's dangerous deliveries caused problems in the St.Mungo's area but, sadly for Webster's, this was the sole outcome of the pressure.
Indeed, St.Mungo's pressed for another goal in the closing ten minutes of the half. The dangerous Kearney broke well down the right and her powerful shot was well saved by Soutar with nine minutes remaining until the halftime whistle. Two minutes later McKay broke clear for St.Mungo's, but again Soutar was equal to the effort upon her goal.
Then, with four minutes left, neat interplay between Kearney and McCann almost saw McCann advance upon Soutar. Webster's kept plugging away, and the final action of the half saw Crighton's 25 yard free kick saved by Katie Hannan in the St.Mungo's goal.
Halftime : St.Mungo's HS 2 Webster's HS 0
After a cagey start to the second half St.Mungo's were again in the ascendency. Dead-ball expert Kearney had a shot from a free kick 30 yards from goal, but Soutar saved comfortably in the seventh minute of the half. Four minutes later Colette Tweedie embarked upon a slaloming run towards the Webster's defence, only to be thwarted by a fine tackle from centre-half Jenna Dickson.
After 13 second-half minutes Webster's broke well through Emily Rennie. Her surge down the left allowed her to feed Peters, but goalie Hannan pounced at the forward's feet to smother the ball. Two minutes later St.Mungo's almost extended their lead. McCann rifled in a shot which struck the underside of the bar, bounced on the goal-line and out to safety.
With 18 minutes remaining Webster's were still trying to fight back. A cross from the left from Dickson led to a mini-scramble in the St.Mungo's area; danger was only averted when St.Mungo's Thomson cleared the ball off Peters for a goal kick. Two minutes later Amy Doyle's through ball found Dickson bearing down on the St.Mungo's goal. Fortunately for the Falkirk side the assistant's flag had been raised to indicate a tight offside call.
However, a minute later a carbon-copy of the previous move pulled Webster's back into the match. Doyle's through-ball this time found substitute Mhari Duncan on the edge of the
penalty area. Her high finish eluded Hannan's despairing dive to set up a grandstand finish. As Webster's chased extra-time it was obvious to all spectators that the next goal would be vital.
With six minutes remaining St.Mungo's clinched the final – Chelsea McKay's looping effort from 25 yards punished the Webster's defence for failing to clear, although tiredness was probably a factor given the late stage of the game and the vastness of the Ainslie Park playing surface. So St.Mungo's were worthy winners of the Girls Senior Shield, emulating their male counterparts' St.Mirren Park success of last month.
Final score : St.Mungo's HS 3 Webster's HS 1
St.Mungo's HS : Katie Hannan, Alison Debio, Claire Hutton, Aimee Thomson, Sam Debio, Molly Fitzsimmons, Kayleigh McCann, Shelby Kearney, Hollie Lister, Colette Tweedie,
Chelsea McKay. Subs: Keary Gallagher, Morgan Lister, Eirinn Maguire.
Webster's HS : Dana Soutar, Claire Dyce, Meganne Penman, Lydia McKenzie, Jenna Dickson, Katy Dickson, Emily Rennie, Amy Doyle, Nivana Crighton, Cheryl Kilcoyne, Ella Peters. Subs: Isla Miller, Lottie Daubel, Louise Falconer, Mhari Duncan.