Team of the Week from games played on Sunday 21st May.
Written by Jack Donnelly
Goalkeeper & Star Player – Lee Gibson (Glasgow City)
In her own words, long-standing City stopper Gibson “just did her job” as the Park’s Motor Group SWPL’s perennial frontrunners reclaimed their crown, but her pair of saves at the death were worth absolutely everything to Leanne Ross and her side. First parrying a long drive from Maddie Nolf before palming a curling Kirsty Howat effort upward and claiming possession via a foul from Kathryn Hill, Gibson kept her nerve after Lauren Davidson’s last-gasp goal to ensure that the Park’s Motor Group SWPL trophy would don orange ribbons for a sixteenth time.
Defender – Eve Donald (Dundee United)
While plenty of attention was on the title fight, Dundee United were in a battle of their own, as they took on Hamilton in an all-or-nothing affair to decide which of the two sides would finish in the relegation play-off. A hard-fought draw meant that the Terrors stayed in 10th, with Eve Donald standing out in a solid United back line. The 22-year-old registered a 79% pass accuracy throughout the 90 minutes, while also winning 10 duels and making 13 recoveries.
Defender – Georgia McTear (Gartcairn)
Coming into the final round of fixtures, Gartcairn knew that all they needed was a win in order to secure second place and a chance at promotion via the play-off – they got exactly that as, after a stalemate in the first half, McTear fired the North Lanarkshire side in front early in the second half, before netting her second of the afternoon just a few minutes later. These goals gave Gartcairn a platform to build on and, coupled with a solid defensive performance (11 duels won and 18 recoveries made), McTear and her teammates secured their place in the playoffs.
Defender – Caitlyn Hayes (Celtic)
While that late goal at Ibrox wrestled the title from Celtic’s grasp, Fran Alonso’s side still secured Champions League qualification, with Caitlyn Hayes getting the Hoops into a commanding position before half time. Steadying herself after collecting a knockdown, the PFA Scotland Player of the Year rifled an effort into the bottom left to send Celtic on their way. It was an excellent performance all round from the centre back, as she recorded a pass accuracy of 88%, won 15 duels and made 18 recoveries.
Defender – Liana Hinds (Hibernian)
Rocked by injuries throughout the year, it’s been a tricky post-split season for Hibernian, but the Edinburgh side were able to finish the season with a win, with Liana Hinds kicking things off in the first half. The wing back, who has had injury troubles herself this season, was in the right place at the right time to turn in a rebound from Lia Tweed’s close-range effort and open the scoring for the Hibees. She also put in a real shift defensively, winning 12 duels, making six interceptions and making a further 12 recoveries.
Midfielder – Abby Robinson (Kilmarnock)
The Ayrshire side had to better Gartcairn’s result on Sunday if they were to finish the season with a chance of promotion – Gartcairn won in the end, leaving Kilmarnock’s result irrelevant, but Abby Robinson did everything in her power to get her side somewhere near. The midfielder scored the opening goal of the game, lashing a loose ball into the roof of the net from close range, and was industrious throughout the 90 minutes as she won 16 duels and made 13 recoveries in what was a battling draw with St. Johnstone.
Midfielder – Katherine Smart (Spartans)
As the curtain was drawn on this Park’s Motor Group SWPL season, so too did Katherine Smart’s playing career, with the midfielder announcing her retirement from the game last Friday. She couldn’t have asked for a better end to her 15-year career, as she marshalled the midfield in a 2-0 win over Glasgow Women as Spartans made it 10 unbeaten. 17 duels won, 17 recoveries made, and a goal saw Smart – and Spartans – finish on a high.
Midfielder – Caitlin McKee (Queen’s Park)
The Spiders finished their campaign with a five-star showing against East Fife at New Tinto Park as Caitlin McKee bagged the second of two braces scored in this match. The attacking midfielder twice fired in from close range, spending the rest of the afternoon tormenting the East Fife back line as she completed nine dribbles, recorded a pass accuracy of 75%, and won 19 duels.
Forward – Lori Gardiner (Motherwell)
Despite spending less than a quarter of the game on the pitch, Gardiner’s introduction off the bench inspired Motherwell to grab two more goals and finish the season with a convincing victory. A Gardiner corner caused havoc in the Aberdeen box, eventually leading to a goal from the returning Kaela McDonald-Nguah, before the winger rounded off the scoring herself with a neat finish from close range.
Forward – Lauren Davidson (Glasgow City)
It would have seemed silly to leave the player who won the league for Glasgow City out of this week’s team. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the league’s top scorer, Lauren Davidson, had the final say on the final day as her 92nd minute goal forced the Park’s Motor Group SWPL trophy to divert from its course to Celtic Park and make its way to Ibrox. Finding the bottom corner with her 28th – and most important – goal of the season, Davidson sent the City bench delirious as she wrestled the title from Celtic’s hands.
Forward – Abby Callaghan (Queen’s Park)
A double feature for Queen’s Park this week – as mentioned previously, two Spiders scored braces in QP’s 5-0 win over East Fife, with the Park’s Motor Group SWPL 2 Golden Boot winner scoring twice in the opening 30 minutes of the match. Callaghan, who took her tally to 20 for the season, was also involved heavily in the Spiders’ link-up play, recording a pass accuracy of 83%, while also keeping the pressure on the East Fife back line throughout, as all seven of her recoveries came in opposition territory.