An evenly contested game saw the East region claim third place in the Scottish Schools’ Inter-Regional Cup with a 2-1 victory over West. A Morgan Cross double was enough to seal the game, despite a consolation goal from the superb Abby Callaghan for West who more than made a game of it.
While the winners trophy had already been handed out to South East, there was more than just pride to play for with the watching SSFA members deciding what players would get a call up to the trials for the national squad.
Much like the final before it, both sides struggled to exert any dominance in the opening stages, with each side probing and pushing but failing to keep possession and mount a serious attack.
West came closest to a breakthrough when Callaghan burst out left and sent a teasing cross over for Leah Mulrine who was inches away from making contact. They then turned a defensive corner into an attacking threat, with Mulrine’s clearance from her own penalty box being chased down by Rosie McQuillan, but Isla Brown was alert to the danger for East and prevented the shot.
Callaghan and Mulrine combined in a carbon copy of their earlier play, but this time Mulrine got the shot away and watched as it hit the inside of the post and rolled agonisingly clear across the line. Mulrine had found acres of space as the East defence stepped up but the finish was marginally off.
They hadn’t posed much of an attacking threat in the opening quarter of an hour but East took the lead when Morgan Cross skilfully ran onto a through ball and slotted home. It might have been slightly against the run of play but it was a well taken goal and it seemed to calm East down and they settled into some good football.
The lead was almost doubled within minutes as Rebecca McGowan burst through the midfield with some neat footwork and a silky run but her shot was well blocked by Cara Henderson and Cross’s effort on the rebound was too high.
With East beginning to apply some serious pressure following the goal, West were forced to rely on counterattacks. Carly Girascoli’s clearance sent McQuillan clear of the East defence who had pushed right up into the West half. There were calls for offside but McQuillan was still in her own half when the ball was played and she sprinted towards goal. As the East defence caught up with her on the edge of the box she squared it to Mulrine whose shot was well saved by Megan Sidey.
Cross was the main threat for East and she almost capitalised on a mixup at the back, but Jade Baillie in the West goal got back in time to stop the ball rolling over the line.
Rachel Wolecki’s pass gave Cross another chance to shoot before the break but Henderson got in the block for West.