Although the same names are on the teamsheet, Hibernian in cup competitions are a different proposition from the side which have lost out narrowly to Glasgow City in the league over the last three seasons.
A one-sided demolition of Motherwell in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup final at Firhill gave the club a third successive cup double and brought them level with City’s record of eight Scottish Cup wins. Having beaten Celtic 9-0 in the League Cup earlier in the season, Hibs made it 17 without reply in the two finals.
It was a desperately disappointing outcome for the losers, who had won the SWPL2 title at a breeze but were given a harsh appraisal of what awaits them in the higher division next year. They started at a disadvantage when pugnacious midfielder Kerry Montgomery was ruled out with a hamstring injury, but contributed to their own downfall and were two behind after only six minutes.
Hibs striker Abi Harrison, who scored two of the first three goals, departed with a hamstring injury on the half hour. That left Scotland under-19 winger Jamielee Napier, pictured, to take centre stage with her first hat-trick since joining from Celtic at the start of the year.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Napier said. “We wanted to get them on the back foot from the first whistle and the girls did that.
“It’s disappointing we didn’t win the league as well, but it came down to that 90 minutes against Glasgow City and we couldn’t do it. We’ll be going for the treble next year.”
Motherwell manager Donald Jennow said: “We didn’t live with them, particularly in the first half, and they exploited a lot of our mistakes. But it would be unfair to say it was purely down to us – Hibs played incredibly well.
“Their two centre-halves, and Lisa Robertson in front, moved the ball side to side at a pace we’re not used to and that created the gaps that their attacking players, especially in the wider areas, were able to exploit.”
Whatever game plan Motherwell had was in shreds after only six minutes when Hibs were two up. The first goal, scored by Harrison with less than two minutes on the clock, was typical of how Motherwell undermined themselves during the first half.
Right-back Emma Black lost possession to Kirsten Reilly 30 yards out and the Hibs player fed Harrison,whowas given plenty of space to turn and send a fine curling shot beyond Autumn Farrell from 20 yards.
Motherwell were undermined from the left again four minutes later. Rachel McLauchlan sent over a deep cross which Jamie-Lee Napier converted at the far post.
Harrison got her second, and Hibs’ third, after 15 minutes, sending a low volley into the net from close in. When the striker’s involvement ended, her replacement, Lauren Davidson, was only on the pitch for two minutes when she made it four. The goal again summed up Motherwell’s problems as they made a hash of a short corner and Hibs moved the ball quickly up the pitch to score.
A Maxine Welsh own goal, shortly after she had cleared a Napier shot off the line, and a well-taken individual goal by Cailin Michie completed the first-half rout. A mix-up between Hayley Cunningham and Leslie Condie allowed McLauchlan to deliver a cross from the right and Napier stooped to head home her second early in the second half.
The Scotland under-19 winger completed her hat-trick just after the hour. Goalkeeper Farrell saved from McLauchlan but Napier was on hand to slip home the rebound.