As the SWF seasons draw to a close, the 13's season comes to a climax at Toryglen in the Scottish cup final between Aberdeen 12's and Glasgow City Blacks 13's. Both sides have been eagerly anticipating the showpiece event as they completed their remaining league fixtures.
Aberdeen haven't had an easy run to the final, as was shown in their semi-final victory over a dogged Hearts side who pushed them all the way until the final whistle. Aberdeen displayed tremendous team spirit to run out 4-2 winners in the game with two goals in the closing minutes as the game looked destined for extra-time. The girls showed a great attitude to win the game from 2-2 after looking like they might lose after letting a two goal lead slip.
Aberdeen's participation in the final is a real credit to everyone involved. When the speaking to the coach of the side, Scott McDougall, after their semi-final victory he spoke very highly of the way of the pathway system at Aberdeen ladies and the commitment shown by players, parents and volunteers. "The girls have been part of the club since the age of five and six" he said. "They are now a very strong squad of 11 and 12 year olds, they are also the youngest of three Aberdeen girls 13's sides which shows quite how good this side can be."
Scott McDougall had nothing but praise for his side after their victory, especially after all the travelling players and parents had to do to attend they're matches which included a 5am rise to make this very semi-final at Kilwinning Sports Club.
Aberdeen will no doubt face heir biggest challenge of the season in this match as they face an all conquering Glasgow City Blacks side, who have won the league and league cup double already this season. City played excpetionally well to reach the final and showed a great brand of attacking play in the second half of their semi final to more than merit their place at Toryglen. They battled through a very tough first half, at the end of witch they lead 2-1, to run out eventual 7-1 winners over Celtic 13s.
Manager Craig Joyce was very pleased with the girls second half performance when we spoke to him following the game. "I wouldn't highlight any individual performances, but instead I'd praise the all together work rate of the team" he said. "They play a high, pressing game and move quickly on and off the ball, and to see all of this come together was fantastic." To win the Scottish cup has been the aim of his side all season, so for City the final offers an ideal way to finsh their already impressive season.
Where the game will be won and lost is hard to say, but Aberdeen will have a tough job keeping City at bay with the strong team of players they have. Lucy Ronald may prove to be a thorn in the side for the Dons defence as the wide midfielder showed her quality in the semi final. She showed quick feet and great skill throughout the game as she helped push City to their eventual win. They will also have City captain Karsey McGlinchey to watch out for. The midfielder's stunning free-kick with the semi-final still at 2-1 helped launch City's second half performance and she could be a vital player come the final.
Glasgow City Blacks will no doubt be in for a tough match themselves though against this young side. There will be a few key battles all over the pitch and City will have to keep striker Bailey Hutchison at bay if they hope to take home the crown. The striker scored a hat-trick in the semi-final and was a constant threat to the Hearts rearguard. They will also face a tough opposition to break down as they have keeper Nicole Miller to get past in the Aberdeen goals. The young 'keeper produced several exellent saves at key points in the match to stop Hearts from gaining an advantage in the match.
No matter the score this will be a fantastic experience for the girls involved and a great way to aid the development of this countries future female football stars. We wish both teams the best of luck in the final.