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Hearts lift the SWF Youth Scottish Cup Final following a goal-fest final

The road to the SWF Under 18s Scottish Youth Cup final culminated in an eye-catching encounter between Hearts and Celtic.

Both teams possess top young talents, which was evident as the ball got rolling at Ochilview. Within the early stages, the opposing sides comfortably built play from the back starting from their respective goalkeepers.

Heart of Midlothian had the first couple of chances, with both hitting the woodwork. An early scramble in the Celtic six-yard box saw the ball ricochet off of the crossbar. Minutes later, Erin Husband rifled from distance, clattering the post.

Celtic took control of the game and managed to edge in front. An excellent delivery from a corner was met by the Hoops’ Sienna McGoldrick. The midfielder guided the ball in with her head and sent the travelling Celtic supporters wild.

Hearts tried to level through Leni Parish – whose right-footed effort was excellently saved by Celtic keeper Erin Halliday. The stopper was called into action again quickly after, parrying Olivia Chomczuk’s curled shot.

The Jambos found their equalising goal through defender Katie Fraser. After hitting the bar with a header, the ball generously fell back into her path to tap home for 1-1.

Sixty seconds later the game was tipped on its head. Freya Brien picked the ball up around the halfway line, drove fifteen yards and lasered a strike directly into the top corner – a sensational goal to give Hearts the lead.

The second half began with The Celts lodging multiple attacks. Mae English’s speed set up a shooting chance, but her shot was wayward. This was followed by a left-footed free kick by the lively Rebecca Brady which forced an impressive block from Hearts goalkeeper Aimee Roy.

After surviving their opponent’s waves of forward passing, the girls in maroon had a great opportunity to make it three. Husband struck emphatically and it looked to be rising into the roof of the net but another fantastic stop by Halliday kept the score down.

Hearts attackers Angel Low and Eryn Brown linked up tremendously to bypass Celtic’s back four and Brown bent a right-footed attempt into the back of the net. The Hearts players and fans were jubilant to see a third fly in.

The cup was far from won, though. Sophie Timlin had her say and clawed one back for the Glasgow side when she reacted fastest to a loose ball in the Hearts box and stabbed goalwards.

This seemed to awaken the Gorgie girls who went up a gear in the closing stages to protect their lead. Brien got on the end of a corner with a flush header. The goalscoring opportunity went begging thanks to the woodwork, which was bruised a fair few times in this cup final.

The side in Maroon huffed and puffed for a fourth and it arrived spectacularly. Midfielder Chomczuk grabbed a goal which merited her excellent performance, smashing a free kick from the left flank beyond Halliday in the Celtic goal.

As the final whistle sounded and the sun set on a fantastic day of football at Ochilview, it was Heart of Midlothian who raised the SWF Under 18s Youth Scottish Cup.

Heart of Midlothian Player of the Match: Freya Brien

Midfielder Freya Brien showed everyone why she is a Scotland youth international – an exceptional performance in such a high-pressure game. Her goal was out of this world, but alongside that, she linked defence to attack seamlessly and seemed to have covered every blade of artificial grass.

Celtic Player of the Match: Erin Halliday

The player between the Celtic sticks was extremely busy throughout the game but had an answer for the majority of Hearts’ strikes on goal. She showed no weaknesses in her game – displaying shot-stopping, accurate distribution and the bravery to use her feet when she had to. She can certainly hold her head up high despite the final defeat.

Heart of Midlothian Magic Moment: Brien’s Belter

The amount of power generated in this shot was frightening and had everyone jump out of their seat in The Norway Stand at Ochilview. There were some fantastic goals scored in this goal-fest final, but none come close to Freya Brien’s wonder strike.

Celtic Magic Moment: McGoldrick’s Opener

Sienna McGoldrick’s goal sparked what was an incredibly lively cup final into life. The combative midfielder opened the scoring thanks to her incredible movement amidst a plethora of bodies in the Hearts box, perfectly connecting with a floated corner with a header. From delivery to finish to the celebrations, this goal set the bar early for what was an incredible spectacle of a football match.

Hearts U16s

Aimee Roy

Briony Morgan

Gracie Robertson

Erin Husband

Ashley Jay Robertson

Olivia Chomczuk

Zara Andrews

Freya Jen Brien

Ava Lynas

Eryn Brown

Angel Low

Katie Fraser

Emily Shanks

Leni Parish

Poppy Walker-McInnes

Celtic U16s

Erin Halliday

Sophie Timlin

Rebecca Brady

Louise Porter

Olivia McStay

Lucy Barclay

Mae English

Sienna McGoldrick

Caitlin Crean

Charlize McFadyen

Eva Galloway

Tess Nicklin

Maisy Stewart

Alana Meechan

Aria-Catherine Moore

Caragh McMaster


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