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McGovern hat-trick sends Celtic past Rangers into Scottish Cup final

Rangers FC 1

Cunningham 25

Celtic FC 3

McGovern 12, 52, 70
  • Sunday, 25 September 2016
  • Kilwinning Sports Club
  • 15's Girls
  • SWF Youth Cup - Semi Final

Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author

Click here for full match video.

Celtic advanced to the final of the Scottish Cup with a 3-1 victory over city rivals Rangers at Kilwinning Sports Club. A Kathleen McGovern hat-trick settled a match which had been fairly evenly contested until half-time, with Rangers captain Hannah Cunningham’s goal putting the sides in 1-1 at the break.

The second half belonged to the hooped side of the Old Firm however, as they took control of the game and eventually reaped the benefits of their dominance through their captain’s three goals, with 3-1 a flattering result for Rangers.

McGovern showed her attacking intent from the off, firing the first shot of the game just wide of Ciara Pollock’s goal. Rangers responded well however, and some neat play down the right wing between Lucy Sinclair and Sarah Stewart had the Celtic defence scrambling.

Neither side was controlling possession with an array of misplaced passes not allowing the game to settle into a rhythm. Rangers midfield were posted missing when Celtic centre half Cara Henderson roamed forward from the halfway line, with no one making any attempt to close her down and the Rangers defence backing off, she found herself on the edge of the penalty box, eventually hitting a shot that deflected narrowly wide with the Rangers keeper scrambling to get across.

It was a sign of things to come as once again Celtic gallivanted unopposed through the Rangers midfield, this time with Jade Menzies executing a perfect turn away from her marker before playing in McGovern with a through ball into the box. Using all her strength she held off her marker before firing high and hard off the crossbar and into the back of the net.

Rangers responded well and would have had an equaliser but for a great save from Kendall Welsh, who diving low at the feet of Leah Mulrine, threw an arm in the air to block the chipped effort. A vital save to keep her team in front.

Celtic should have capitalised on their keeper’s great work when Emma Betty Craig burst through one-on-one with Pollock, however it was the turn of the Rangers goalie to show her quality, blocking well with her legs. The rebound almost fell to McGovern but it came at her too fast and bounced off the unsuspecting striker for a goal kick.

The end to end action continued as Rangers grabbed an equaliser. Left back Cunningham picked up the ball in her own half and seeing the space open up in front of her she drove forward. The consistently impressive Chloe Warrington tried to challenge her but Cunningham held her off to bear down on goal, Welsh and Cunningham both slid in on each other with the Rangers captain coming out on top of the Celtic goalie as the ball slid through and into the back of the net.

It was a deserved equaliser in an entertaining game with both sides giving it all, but conceding seemed to waken something in Celtic and they fashioned a couple more opportunities before the break. McGovern and Craig playing on the shoulder of the last defender were always quick to turn their marker and get in behind, but the second goal just wouldn’t quite come before half-time.

  • Half Time:
  • Rangers FC
  • 1-1
  • Celtic FC

Where the first half was even, the second half was one-sided. Celtic took the bull by the horns and simply harassed and harried Rangers out of the game. The midfield pairing of Georgia Crooks and Menzies were everywhere, and Rangers struggled to maintain their shape in the face of such dynamism.

The only surprise of the game was that Craig didn’t get on the scoresheet for Celtic. She came close in the early stages of the second half when she was played in behind the Rangers defence and decided to take the shot early, agonisingly watching it sail just by the top corner.

Even the Celtic defence got in on the attacking act, with Cara Henderson and Leah Robinson both coming close from corners.

The goal was coming however, and when Taylor Rose Hamill cut in from the left and fired a curling shot towards the corner, you thought for sure it would be her to score it. But she was stopped by a marvellous diving save from Pollock who clawed it out, only to see McGovern knock in the rebound from close range. Heartbreaking for Pollock and Rangers but well-deserved for Celtic.

Pollock was the hero again for Rangers with a lightning fast reaction double save from Craig and Aisha Maughan. The keeper was keeping Rangers in the game but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.

McGovern almost claimed her hat-trick as she cut in from the left wing but for a fantastic last ditch sliding tackle from Amy Gardner as she went to pull the trigger. McGovern couldn’t be stopped forever though and she claimed the match ball under similar circumstances, this time slotting it under Pollock with no defender there to stop her.

A deserving victory for the Hoops who move into the final against Aberdeen full of confidence after an impressive performance.

  • Full Time:
  • Rangers FC
  • 3-1
  • Celtic FC


Rangers FC
Celtic FC
2. Ellie Macdonald
3. Hannah Cunningham
5. Amanda Brown
6. Caitlin McMillan
7. Leah Mulrine
8. Aisha Saimi
9. Emma Johnstone
10. Lucy Sinclair
11. Katelynn Irvine
12. Rosie McQuillan
14. Laura Connelly
15. Lisa Kirwan
16. Kara Chalmers
17. Amy Gardner
18. Elise McCormick
19. Sarah Stewart
20. Erin Kerr
21. Ciara Pollock
1. Kendall Walsh
2. Chloe Warrington
3. Dionne Polland
4. Cara Henderson
5. Leah Robinson
6. Georgia Crooks
7. Kathleen McGovern
8. Jade Menzies
9. Mhairi Crooks
10. Taylor Rose Hamill
11. Eleanor Howard
12. Monica Catherine Docherty
13. Jenna Jones
14. Emma Betty Craig
16. Gabrielle Higgins
17. Aisha Maughan
19. Cara Ellen McInally
Star Player
Rangers FC
Celtic FC
Although she conceded three goals, Ciara Pollock was the standout player for Rangers with a series of top class stops. The young keeper was the only thing stopping this from becoming a rout in the second half, and although the rebound was knocked in by McGovern, the save she made prior to the second goal was sensational.
Captain fantastic Kathleen McGovern. A great hat-trick for the striker and it could have been more but for some fine saves from the Rangers keeper. She led the line well, always sitting on the shoulder of the last defender and looking for the through ball - forward play like that makes it easy for the midfielders to find the right ball in behind.
Magic Moment
Rangers FC
Celtic FC
Hannah Cunningham's goal was a mixture of endeavour and bravery. Picking the ball up inside her own half she absolutely went for it, running the full length of the left wing, holding off the Celtic defence and wasn't scared to dive in with the keeper and win the ball. Great work from the Rangers captain who led by example throughout the game.
The opening goal was created by a fantastic bit of play from Jade Menzies who turned away from her marker beautifully before timing the through ball to perfection for McGovern to run on to. The striker still had plenty to do but she did it so well, holding off the defender and then firing a rocket of an effort into the net off the underside of the crossbar. Unsaveable.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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