Motherwell Ladies are SWPL 2 champions following a 5-1 victory over Edinburgh University Hutchinson Vale at a miserable Peffermill Park on Sunday, writes Andrew Scott.
The Women of Steel knew that a win would be enough to clinch the title with five games to spare, and were keen to put on a show for Eddie Wolecki Black’s last match in charge.
In a perfect start, Lauryn Reside opened the scoring after only two minutes.
The ball was shipped out to the young winger on the right flank where she fired a long range shot into the roof of the net.
The visitors extended their lead on 17 minutes when striker Sammy Hare showed her poacher’s instincts by firing home Hayley Cunningham’s rebounded effort.
EUHV then pulled one back when a poorly defended free-kick saw Anna Hume nod the ball to Lucy Brown who fired her shot under the keeper.
Sturrock’s shot for the hosts then looked destined to find the net, but Johnstone produced a fine save.
And moments later Hare had the ball in the net to restore Motherwell’s two goal lead on 33 minutes.
Kerry Montgomery’s free-kick routine caught the defence off guard and Cunningham’s pass found Hare to fire home.
Hare again shot home before half-time but this ‘goal’ was disallowed for offside.
But Hare completed her hat-trick on 58 minutes. Cunningham picked up another assist as she laid it off to Hare, who spun and unleashed a long driven rocket to propel Motherwell further ahead.
Cunningham then managed to all but seal victory for the Steelwomen in the final minute. Kaitlyn Canavan was the provider as the second half substitute ran amok down the wing before Cunningham fired home on the spin.
The full-time whistle all but confirmed that Motherwell would be SWPL 2 champions and with it brought scenes of delight among the players and coaching staff.
Promotion to SWPL 1 will see Well up against the big guns in Scottish Women’s football.