The SWF Scottish Youth Cup is entering the final stages of this year’s edition, and with four quarter finals at each age group left, it looks set to be a must-see end to the competition with some tasty fixtures drawn for the final eight teams.
Bayside vs Boroughmuir Thistle
At 13s the first quarter final sees Bayside take on Boroughmuir Thistle. The Jags, who come from Edinburgh, managed to edge their way past Jeanfield Swifts in the last round in an enthralling 4-3 win. Bayside managed to reach their way into the last eight in much more comfortable fashion, disposing of Deveronvale in an 8-1 rout.
Central Legends vs Hibernian FC
Forth Valley based Central Legends, who will play Hibernian, also stormed past the previous stage with an 8-2 victory drubbing of Forfar Farmingston Falcons, whilst the Hibees managed to see off Dunfermline with a narrow 2-1 win, and sticking nine past Cowdenbeath United in the round before. The team in green and white have been firing goals in for fun this season, with a 7-1 win over rivals Hearts and sticking nine past them in the reverse fixtures being particular displays of their ability.
Glasgow City vs Motherwell
One of the other two quarter finals at under 13s sees Glasgow City, who are current reigning champions after beating Aberdeen at Toryglen in last year’s final, play Motherwell, who put five past Tullibody and nine past Gartcairn to reach this stage of the competition. The current holders will surely be favourites to win this tie and attempt to retain their trophy, but don’t count Well out of causing an upset in this tie.
Hearts vs Aberdeen
The last under 13 quarter final sees Hearts and Aberdeen battle it out for a semi-final place. The Dons, who are currently holders of the SWF North League Cup, saw off Celtic in a thrilling 5-2 victory in the previous round, proving that The Dons can handle any test in front of them. Whereas the Jambos have fired in 11 goals in just two games to get to this point, leaving Aberdeen aware of their attacking capabilities. With two of the biggest names in Scottish football, this promises to be a real eye-catching tie.
Hamilton v Forfar Farmington
Hamilton U15’s will be coming into their Scottish Cup encounter hoping that they can find their early season form if they are to see off a strong Forfar Farmington. Hamilton opened the campaign with three wins from three, scoring 20 goals in the process, but have since succumbed to three defeats in a row. The Scottish Cup could be a welcome distraction for Accies as they looked to put an end to this bad run and a narrow but hard fought victory over Clark Drive girls in the last round will give the North Lanarkshire women hope they can progress.
The task is sure to be a tricky one for Hamilton as Forfar Farmington will be the favourites to progress. Forfar Farmington are nine games deep into their season and have yet to be defeated racking up a stunning 25 points in the process. Eight wins and a single draw for the East Coast side have seen them make a very promising start to their league campaign and will be hoping to do exactly the same in the Scottish Cup. Victories over Kilmarnock and Dunfermline in the previous rounds for Farmington have seen them reach the quarter finals. You have to fancy Forfar Farmington to make the semi-finals but you can’t rule out Hamilton, it’s football, anything can happen.
Celtic FC 14s v Aberdeen 15s
A clash that is a tasty prospect across all levels of football, the Hoops host the Dons. Celtic 14’s have won every single game that has been put in front of them this season. Six wins from six in the Leanne Ross U15’s League and a stunning run in the Scottish cup deservedly sees them with a chance of reaching the semi-finals. The Scottish Cup may have been too strong for Celtic 14’s being a year younger than some of the other teams in the competition but they have proved that is simply just not true. An 8-0 win away to Bonnyrigg Rose and a 9-1 victory over rivals Glasgow City are impressive to say the least and you would have to see the Celtic team being favourites here.
Aberdeen will be hoping that they can continue their Scottish cup form and achieve passage through to the next round. With impressive wins over Glasgow City U14’s and Cumbernauld Colts have meant that the Dons have done well to get this far but what will be worrying the team is the league season. They've been enjoying an excellent season domestically and they will be hoping that they can put in a good performance when they travel to play Celtic. It’s sure to be an intriguing tie.
Hearts v Celtic FC
The clash of the titans. Probably the biggest tie of the round is this one as The Jambos welcome the Hoops. Both teams sit top of their respective leagues and both with impressive records. Hearts have come out on top in eight of their nine league games so far this season, while Celtic sit just above fierce rivals Rangers with five wins from six matches. It is sure to be a close encounter and certainly far too close to call but what we are guaranteed is goals. Hearts sit on a goal difference of +47 after only nine games, bearing in mind they lost one of those, a truly remarkable achievement.
Celtic will be confident heading into the Scottish cup tie after previous rounds. An impressive 5-1 win over Hibernian ladies and then a 7-1 hammering of Jeanfield Switfs ensured that Celtic 15’s thoroughly deserve their place in the quarter-finals. They will not be resting on their laurels however I guarantee you that and will be wanting to progress as far as possible in the Scottish cup. Make no mistake Celtic 15’s will have their eyes set on silverware and will be gutted if they fall up short. While it will be a nervous match for the partisan supporters it is sure to be a cracking game for the neutral. Who comes out on top? Who knows?
Hutchison Vale v Rangers
It’s another east meets west cup quarter final as Hutchie host the Gers in the Scottish Cup. A match that both will be looking at and fancying their chances as it’s certainly another tie that could go either way. Hutchison Vale have had a bit of a stop start season as they sit in 7th with three wins from eight games. After making a blistering start to the league campaign embarking on a five match unbeaten run it looked as if Hutchison Vale were going to be up near the top as title contenders, yet recent form looks to have put the kybosh on that. Disappointing defeats to Murieston, Musselburgh Windosor and a thrashing at the hands of Hearts have meant that the steam train has come to a stuttering stop for Hutchie. They have the Scottish Cup to turn to and with a semi-final in sight they will be hoping to get one over Rangers.
Rangers will be hoping that finishing second behind Celtic in the Kim Little’s 15’s league will not set the tone for the remainder of their season. With some real strong performances in the Scottish Cup thus far, the Gers will be hoping that they can go all the way and get their hands on some silverware. After has been a relatively stable start to their season Rangers will look to draw from this as they travel to Edinburgh with an eye on a spot in the next round.
Glasgow City vs Celtic FC
In the 17s section the standout fixture sticks out straight away. In a repeat of last year’s final, Glasgow City face off against Celtic in an all-Glasgow tie, with the ‘Ghirls’ looking to avenge their 3-1 final loss at the hands of City last season. With both sides hitting high scores in the previous round, the chances of a stalemate in this fixture look slim. The Celts have been in blistering form so far this season, winning all ten league games under James McCafferty’s reign with a stunning goal difference of +44, whereas their opponents sit in fourth place, still impressive however, having rocked up 7 wins so far. There may be a difference in points between the sides, but either team can emerge winners from this contest if they hit their best form on the day. Picking a winner from these two would cause most a headache.
Central Girls vs Hibernian
The second of the 17s quarter finals sees current South East league leaders Hibernian, who have won all of their league games so far, take on Forth Valley outfit Central Girls who have a near-perfect record of their own so far this year, winning 10 from 11 league fixtures in the Gemma Faye league, with both racking up impressively high goal differences. It’s almost inconceivable to see either of these teams losing this season, so this tie is guaranteed to grab attention no matter who wins. Central Girls and Hibs both come into this tie full of confidence, scoring seven and eight goals respectively in the previous round, the chances of a clean sheet for either side look rather slim.
Rangers vs Westdyke
Rangers may be sitting in a more than respectable position in their league campaign, in third place after 13 games; but their weaknesses have been exploited on a few occasions so far this season, losing four of those matches, winning nine, and still to draw a single match. However, The Gers managed to find their route to the quarter final a comfortable one, winning 9-0 in the previous two rounds. Their opponents, who are based in Aberdeen, didn’t exactly find their previous tie as comfortable, as they managed to outscore a Dryburgh Athletic side 4-2 to progress. The Light Blues are without doubt the favourites to reach the semis, but don’t rule out the possibility of a cup upset in this tie.
Spartans vs Boroughmuir Thistle
It’s a battle of the South East clubs in this fixture, as both Edinburgh sides face off for the second time this season. It’s sure to be a close encounter with little between the pair in their league, with second placed Spartans only five points ahead of fourth placed Thistle. Boroughmuir won the first clash of these two sides on the opening day of the season back in March, running out 2-1 winners to get their season of to a flyer. However, the Ainslie Park side managed to win their second league meeting in this campaign, notching up a 3-1 home victory against their future opponents back in June. The questions remains, who will win the decisive meeting this weekend and secure their semi-final spot?