Hibernian to meet Celtic in SWPL Cup final

Hibs' Abi Harrison celebrates as she completes her hat-trick against Glasgow City
Hibs' Abi Harrison celebrates as she completes her hat-trick against Glasgow City

Hibernian will meet Celtic in a repeat of last year's SWPL Cup final after both eased through their semi-finals at the Falkirk Stadium.

Holders Hibs cruised to a 3-1 win against league leaders Glasgow City thanks to an Abi Harrison hat-trick.

And three goals in the last 25 minutes gave Celtic a 4-1 win over Forfar Farmington.

The two will meet in the final, again at the Falkirk Stadium, on Sunday 20 May.

Hibs have won the trophy two years in a row and will be big favourites to make it three, having defeated Celtic 3-1 seven days ago.

Glasgow City lead the Scottish Women's Premier League only on goal difference from the Edinburgh side.

When they meet, more often than not though one side hands out a drubbing to the other, and with Hibs missing captain Joelle Murray in the heart of defence, it looked like it was advantage City.

And 13 minutes in when Christie Murray was tripped just inside of the box by goalkeeper Hannah Reid, it looked like it would be their day.

Reid, however, palmed away Leanne Ross' penalty to redeem herself, and after that everything went horribly wrong for the champions.

Hibs, who had started slow, suddenly sparked into life. Eight minutes later Harrison drove through the middle, and although her initial shot was blocked, it landed nicely for her to fire past Erin Clachers.

Then Kirsty Smith burst down the left flank and played a brilliant ball across to Harrison, who got her toe to it for number two.

Glasgow City's Nicola Docherty battles with Hibs' Rachel McLaughlin
Glasgow City's Nicola Docherty battles with Hibs' Rachel McLaughlin

At the other end nothing would fall for City. A Hibs foot was always there to deny them a clear sight of goal, while Leanne Crichton's goal-bound header was blocked by Chelsea Cornet.

Hibs could have had more before the break. Harrison shot wide, then minutes later laid the ball off to Rachel McLauchlan, who should have hit the target.

City head coach Scott Booth made changes at half-time, but within seconds of the restart Harrison had her third.

Lizzie Arnot's cross was perfect for Harrison, and although Clachers got a touch to her header, she could not keep it out.

City pulled one back when Sam Kerr's shot had too much power on it for goalkeeper Reid, and had Madeline Hill not scuffed her effort when through on goal it could have set up a nervy finish.

Post-match reaction

Hibernian caretaker head coach Grant Scott: "Absolutely delighted. It's great to be in a cup final again.

"I'm really pleased for Abi. Everyone knows her potential. She had a niggle early in the season and has taken a few weeks to get back to full sharpness.

"The penalty was definitely a turning point for us. It seemed to galvanise the girls and they grew in stature in the game. It definitely worked in our favour."

Glasgow City head coach Scott Booth: "You would always hope to score from a penalty in a semi-final, but the game still has a long way to go at 0-0. We created some good possibilities in the first half but ultimately I didn't feel we competed well enough.

"The main turning point for me was the third goal. To lose a goal in that manner is just not good enough defensively. After that we had to chase it.

"We competed better in the second half but it wasn't good enough."