It’s SWF Youth Cup semi-final time this weekend, and with six hugely exciting matches to come, YFS looks at what’s in store as we prepare to find out who’ll be booking their place in November’s finals at Oriam National Performance Centre in Edinburgh.
At U13’s level, we should be in for two cracking cup ties as Donside Girls take on Kilmarnock Whites and Musselburgh Windsor play Kilmarnock Blues. All four teams have scored bags of goals on their way to the semi-finals, so high scoring matches should be on the cards.
Donside Girls, who currently sit joint top of the North Kim Little League, followed up their 6-0 third round victory over Hearts Development with a 3-2 quarter-final win against Central Girls Legends earlier this month. They take on a Kilmarnock Whites side that has scored 40 goals in five games this competition – including hitting Letham for ten in the preliminary round back in March.
Musselburgh Windsor, who won 3-1 away at Celtic in the third round and beat Boroughmuir Thistle Purples 8-4 in the quarter-finals, will be up against a Kilmarnock Blues team with a perfect three wins from three in their league campaign, and who saw off Lanarkshire Hibernian 4-1 in the last round.
Old rivals Celtic and Rangers clash in the first of the U15’s semi-finals. Both teams have enjoyed strong runs to this stage of the competition; for Celtic, back-to-back 9-0 wins over Falkirk and Stonehaven in the second and third rounds was followed by a 3-0 quarter-final victory over Jeanfield Swifts. Rangers meanwhile put in dominant displays against Aberdeen and Hamilton in the first two rounds – winning 5-0 and 8-0 – before seeing off Central Girls in the third round and edging a tight quarter final with current Performance League leaders Glasgow City 2-1.
In the second semi-final Hibs face a Kilmarnock side that have gotten stronger as the tournament has progressed; they survived a penalty shoot-out with Boroughmuir Thistle Whites in the second round before beating Blackburn Utd 5-1 and Hibernian Development 5-2 en route to the semi-finals. For Hibs, it’s been steady going. They haven’t hit the heights of any of the other semi-finalists yet, but they’re still to concede a goal in the competition – 3-0 wins have carried them this far. It was Hibs who prevailed in the last meeting between the two sides – 3-2 at Grange Academy in the Performance League at the start of August – but with a place in the cup final on the line, who will be celebrating come Sunday evening?
The leaders of the East/North League meet the leaders of the Joelle Murray League in the second of the U17’s semi-finals as Dryburgh Athletic take on Murieston Utd. Both teams have been dominant in their league campaigns and have carried that into the Cup; Dryburgh have scored 22 goals in their three matches in the competition so far, including a 10-1 victory over Montrose and a 9-0 quarter-final triumph over Raith Rovers. For Muiriston, a 6-1 victory away at Westdyke and a 5-0 win over Bonnyrigg Rose saw them march into the semi-finals. With such free-scoring teams coming head-to-head, fans in attendance should be in for a treat.
Before that, Hibs take on Glasgow City in what should be another exciting semi-final. City have seen off both Celtic and Rangers – away from home, no less - on their way to a clash with Hibs, and will hope the competitive nature of their two matches so far will have them feeling sharp for what will be another tough game. For the Hibees, it’s a different story altogether; bizarrely, due to withdrawals they’ve actually reached the semi’s without playing a game. Will this count against them when it comes time to test themselves against an opponent as tough as Glasgow City? All we know for certain is that it will be an exciting weekend of SWF Cup action.
Saturday 29th September
Musselburgh Windsor vs Kilmarnock Blues (13G)
Donside Girls vs Kilmarnock Whites (13G)
Sunday 30th September
Rangers vs Celtic (15G)
Kilmarnock vs Hibernian (15G)
Glasgow City vs Hibernian (17G)
Murieston United vs Dryburgh Athletic (17G)