Scotland: Exciting end to the season at the Scottish Cup Finals

A bit of history to start with. The Scottish Cup is the oldest national competition – in fact, the first men`s final occurred at the end of the 1962/1963 season and the women`s competition followed several years later. Since then Scottish Cup Final day has traditionally brought the curtain down on the season.

Curiously we`ve already had a dress rehearsal involving this season`s finalists. Last Saturday`s Championship play-off semi-finals saw Watsonians women and Grange men record 3-0 wins over Western Wildcats and Watsonians respectively.

In the women`s competition Keith Smith`s charges are attempting to complete the treble for the second season in a row, they already have the Premiership title and the Championship trophy, now the Scottish Cup is in their sights.

There can be no doubt of Watsonians` credentials this season, they have gone through the entire season undefeated, winning the Premiership by five points from Edinburgh University.

Keith Smith, Watsonians` coach, reflected on Sunday`s clash with Western Wildcats. “Games against Wildcats are always tough encounters, so we know how important it is to go out and impose ourselves on the game, but also to be controlled about how we do that.

“Last Sunday against Clydesdale Western was probably one of our best performances of the season in that respect – we were composed and made good decisions with the ball, and our work rate and teamwork without it was excellent, but we can`t be satisfied with just `more of the same` – we know we need to keep improving if we want to keep winning.”

So what chance Western Wildcats?

Western Wildcats coach Kaz Cuthbert said, “We had our opportunities on Saturday to take the lead. We know how to shut their threats down and we are out for the win this weekend. Underdogs always come out fighting when backed into a corner.”

Certainly missing from the spot in the first quarter against Watsonians did not help the Cats` cause. Clinical finishing is required if the Cats are to get their claws into the champions. And they have players to do that, the likes of Alex Stuart who scored the winning goal in the semi-final against Uddingston, Emma McDiarmid and Kate Holmes.

The problem for Wildcats is that Watsonians have potential goal scorers coming from all quarters – it’s not just Sarah Jamieson and Emily Dark – that is what the Cats defence need to snuff out.

IG1 - Scotland: Exciting end to the season at the Scottish Cup Finals - Home » News » Exciting end to the season at the Scottish Cup Finals

Turning to the men`s final – where Grange will be hoping to lift their eighth Scottish Cup on Saturday.

The statistics are overwhelming – Grange retained the Premiership title by a single point from Edinburgh University and they have seen off Watsonians now three times – 3-2, 1-0 and 3-0 last weekend.

But Grange are not infallible, they lost 3-1 to Edinburgh University in the Premiership and last weekend they went down 1-0 to Western Wildcats in the Championship final.

We spoke to Grange manager Martin Shepherdson for his take on the coming contest with Watsonians. He said, “Although we have won all three games, all of them have been tight affairs. We know how difficult they can be to break down, but we go into the game feeling confident that if we play to our best we will beat them. Obviously we are missing a couple of key players through injury, but we pride ourselves on the depth of our squad, so we don`t let that affect us.”

Watsonians Captain Tom Swarbrick was asked if his side could avoid a fourth defeat in a row. “We certainly hope so. Coach Dan Coultas and I are extremely proud of how much improvement we have seen in our team throughout the season. We believe we can challenge Grange if we play to our potential but we are also aware of their threats and their experience playing in finals.”

Tom`s charges have certainly improved as the season has gone on. Watsonians did well to make the top six, and then the top four in the Premiership, and they have made the final of the Scottish Cup – not a bad effort at all for a side that had a sluggish start to the season.

But Tom is right to recognise that Grange do pose goal scoring threats from the likes of David Nairn, Dylan Bean, Jamie Green, Joe Waterston, and also from penalty corners – so that needs to be contained if Watsonians are to triumph and pick up their first Scottish Cup.

Saturday’s action begins with the Men’s Reserve Cup Final where Edinburgh University 3s take on Grange 3s; followed by the Men’s District Cup Final between Hillhead 2s and Edinburgh University 2s. The Men’s Scottish Plate Final between Dundee Wanderers and Edinburgh University will get underway at 2pm. On pitch 2 the Men’s District Plate Final between Erskine Stewarts Melville 2s and Grove Menzieshill 2s gets underway at 1pm, before the Men’s Reserve Plate Final between Watsonians 4s and Watsonians 5s.

Then on Sunday the action gets started with Women’s District Plate Final between Glasgow University 4s and Merlin Gordonians 2s; before the Women’s District Cup Final between Shetland and Edinburgh University 4s; and the Women’s Scottish Plate Final between Edinburgh University and Edinburgh University 2s.


Saturday 4 May

16:00: Men’s Scottish Cup Final – Watsonians v Grange

14:00: Men’s Scottish Plate Final – Dundee Wanderers v Edinburgh University

13:00: Men’s District Plate Final – Erskine Stewarts Melville 2s v Grove Menzieshill 2s

12:00: Men’s District Cup Final – Hillhead 2s v Edinburgh University 2s

11:00: Men’s Reserve Plate Final – Watsonians 4s v Watsonians 5s (Pitch 2)

10:00: Men’s Reserve Cup Final – Edinburgh University 3s v Grange 3s


Sunday 5 May

16:00: Women’s Scottish Cup Final – Western Wildcats v Watsonians

14:00: Women’s Scottish Plate Final – Edinburgh University v Edinburgh University 2s

12:00: Women’s District Cup Final – Shetland v Edinburgh University 4s

10:00: Women’s District Plate Final – Glasgow University 4s v Merlin Gordonians 2s


Tickets available here: https://www.seetickets.com/event/scottish-cup-finals/glasgow-national-hockey-centre/3004114

Live stream (PPV) available here: https://tv.scottish-hockey.org.uk/

by Scotland Hockey

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

SanFair Newsletter

The latest on what’s moving world – delivered straight to your inbox
Verified by MonsterInsights