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Dogged spirit pays off for national champions Bayside

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There was so little to choose between these two sides for the majority of the match, but in the end Bayside proved the merit of hard work and energy as they lifted the SWF Scottish Cup. Player of the match Caitlyn Wilson took a bow as the Fifers celebrated at the final whistle, with her double (and assist) epitomising a team display of drive, determination and skill. 
 
The Bayside captain drove her players forward after going behind to a sublime Hibs opener, chasing down her opponents at every opportunity. This teamwork was the platform for Bayside’s first two goals from, before a classy finish late on put the shine on a fine individual and team display. 
 
The sides lined up in 2-3-1 formation, and for much of the game cancelled each other out. Hibs could claim to have settled quicker into the game, retaining possession and forcing a well organised Bayside onto the back foot, giving few clear sights of goal. 
 
The focal point of Hibs' early promise were the runs of Eilidh McEwan in behind, with Tegan Bowie also a very lively presence, with explosive runs from midfield. But the Bayside rear guard matched up and tracked the runners well, until Bowie’s opener unlocked them.
 
It sparked Bayside into life as they pushed up in midfield, refusing to let Hibs settle on their lead. Before long they were winning possession and creating chances in the Hibs half, with Wilson instrumental in mounting attacks.
 
The equaliser, from Dewar, came as they chased down lost causes in the Hibs half, to win the ball outside the box and get on the end of a cross into the box to force the ball over the line. Bayside then ended the half on the ascendancy as they put Hibs under some concerted pressure.
 
It set the stage for an absorbing contest into the second half, with midfields cancelling each other out and few cast iron chances. Midway through the half Hibs began to exert some pressure, as the game took a decisive turn. 
 
Bayside keeper Alicia Yates was a hero for her side, pulling off a succession of fine stops to keep Hibs at bay. Bayside duly went up the other end to score and there was to be no looking back for the Fife side.
 
In the end Bayside were good value for their win, with great individual performances and a well organised team the difference in a knife edge encounter.

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
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