Today’s SSE Scottish Women’s Cup final between Hibernian and Motherwell is intriguing in many ways, even if the odds seem hugely stacked in favour of the Edinburgh side. Hibs, the SWPL1 runners-up, are hoping to win a third successive cup double against the SWPL2 champions making their first appearance in a Scottish Cup final.
An embarrassing 11-0 home defeat for Motherwell when the teams last met on Scottish Cup business in June of last year can be discounted. At the end of that season the Women of Steel, as they are known, were taken out of the community trust and given an enhanced status within the club.
Eddie Wolecki Black, massively successful with Glasgow City prior to a near fatal stroke when at Airdrie, was appointed manager, and totally reshaped the squad.
The outcome was that Motherwell won SWPL2 by 21 points. Wolecki Black left for Celtic when the league was wrapped up at the end of August, but the positive results have continued under his long-term assistant, Donald Jennow.
Striker Suzanne Mulvey, a Hibs fan who started her career with the Edinburgh club and had three stints at Glasgow City, is one of a number of Motherwell players enjoying a new lease of life. The 34-year-old, who has scored 26 goals this season and is the club captain, said: “Nobody expects us to win against Hibs, just as they didn’t expect us to win the semi-final against Spartans, but it’s a one-off game and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Hibs head coach Grant Scott said: “We’ll be very wary of them. When things are difficult for them they’ll know how to dig in and graft, but if we pass and move the ball well it should do us fine.”