Schools footballs: Girls edge out Irish to lift cup

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The Scottish Schools’ Under-15 girls have done the country proud by winning the Bob Docherty Cup in Belfast thanks to a superior goal difference over the Republic of Ireland.

Scotland’s campaign began against holders and hosts Northern Ireland and two goals from Courtney Whyte (St Rich’s Secondary) and more from Erin Cuthbert (Greenwood Academy), Chantelle Brown (Larkhall Academy) and Amy Lynch (Currie High School) secured an impressive 5-0 victory.

Next up were England – with the Scots aiming to make it four wins in a row against the Auld Enemy. It turned out to be a tight match and the final score was a hard-earned 0-0 draw.

In the third match against Wales, Bathgate Academy’s talented Alyshia Walker gave Scotland the half-time lead, but the Welsh girls hit back with a second-half equalizer.

With Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland having also drawn 1-1, it set up a thrilling climax.

Going into the final day’s matches, Scotland, England and Republic of Ireland were all on five points – Scotland headed the Republic by one on goal difference, with England two further back. So Scotland needed to defeat or draw against the Republic to have a chance, but there was a setback when the Irish team took the lead early in the second half.

But the Scots hit back, with Morgan Academy’s Amy Gallacher hitting a great strike to level the scores and ensured Scotland would finish above their final day opponents on goal difference.

This result meant England needed a win to come out on top, but Wales chose the final day to pull off their best performance of the tournament, beating England 3-1 to send the championship to Scotland.

SCOTLAND SQUAD: Chantelle Brown (Larkhall Academy), Chelsea Cornet (Beeslack High School), Cassie Cowper (Kincorth Academy), Erin Cuthbert (Greenwood Academy), Becky Flaherty (Banchory Academy), Amy Gallacher (Morgan Academy), Laura Hamilton (Gleniffer High School), Samantha Kerr (Graeme High School), Amy Lynch (Currie High School), Jade McLaren (Madras College), Cailin Michie (Boroughmuir High School), Donna Paterson (Banff Academy), Katie Rice (St Ninian’s High School), Rachel Ross (Greenfaulds High School), Jamie Lee Smith (Trinity Academy), Sophie Sweeney (Bishopbriggs Academy), Alyshia Walker (Bathgate Academy), Courtney Whyte (St Roch’s Secondary School).