This weekend sees the girls' Scottish Youth Cup enter the penultimate stage, with six semi-finals being played across three age groups, this year’s competition is heating up for cup final places. 12 teams are all looking to seal their spot at Toryglen in October.
The first of those semis at under 13s level comes in the shape of a West versus South East clash, as Hibernian travel west to face Glasgow Girls. The Hibees, who are current league cup champions, comfortably disposed of Central Girls in the previous round, hitting five past them. Although they won’t be getting too ahead of themselves, with their opponents suffering just the one solitary loss out of 13 league games so far, the rest being dominant wins. Don’t expect to see a goalless draw from this tie, as both outfits have been banging the goals in whenever they desire this season.
The other semi at 13s sees Dunfermline-based outfit Bayside girls meet Aberdeen in Forfar. Both sides found their previous round an easy one to navigate through, scoring six and eleven goals respectively. The Fifers will be looking to replicate the kind of scintillating form they displayed at the start of the league season, when they won all ten matches. The Dons quarter-final win was as emphatic as it gets, beating Hearts Maroons, who are no pushovers themselves, by a large margin.
Aberdeen girls also have semi-final representatives at 15's level, as they face off against Forfar Farmington. Interestingly enough, both of these teams also meet at senior level in the SWPL on Sunday, half-an-hour before this tie! Aberdeen managed to edge past Celtic in a stunning quarter-final tie, beating the Hoops narrowly with a 3-2 victory. Forfar found their tie a bit easier to navigate through, putting three goals past Hamilton and keeping any out at the opposite end.
The other semi-final for the under 15s is perhaps the most eye-catching off all the ties so far. There’s an Old Firm derby in store, with both teams in top form following the quarters finals. The Hoops stuck six past Hearts in the last round, to add to their 15 goals already scored so far in the cup this year. The Light Blues also convincingly reached the last four, netting double figures against Hutchison Vale, and winning the previous rounds 9-0 and 8-0. It’s too close to call this semi-final, as both sides seem capable to score at will. The Gers will certainly be hoping to put in a better performance than the men’s side did in their recent Old Firm derby.
In the 17's semis, the last of the age groups, two of their respective league best teams so far this season face off for a place at the final, as Central Girls face off against Spartans. Spartans won their quarter-final clash with fellow Edinburgh side Boroughmuir Thistle 5-1 last month, while their opponents this weekend dispatched Hibernian by four goals to one. With Central boasting many of last year's 15's Scottish Cup winners in their ranks, they will be confident of progressing.
The last of this weekend’s semi-finals is at 17's, and probably the most anticipated of them all, is another Old Firm derby to match the under 15s. In the Gemma Fay league, there is very little to split between the two rivals, with Celtic edging ahead in 2nd by just three points, although they do have a few games in hand over The Gers who sit 4th. Rangers found the back of the net nine times against Westdyke in the previous round in a more than convincing win. Meanwhile the Celts had another Glasgow opponent to deal with in the quarters, and they did just that defeating Glasgow City 3-1.
With only six cup final places up for grabs in Toryglen for the finals, all teams will need to be in top-form to seal their spot this weekend.