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Scottish Women’s Premier League

Celtic have put themselves within touching distance of a first ever Scottish Women’s Premier League title after their 3-1 victory away to Hearts on Wednesday night.

The damage was inflicted in the first half as the Hoops raced into a three-goal lead, Natasha Flint opening the scoring in the seventeenth minute. Amy Gallacher doubled their advantage on the half hour mark and Flint duly completed her double, before Lizzie Waldie headed in a consolation for Hearts with seven minutes remaining.

Rangers did all they could with a 3-2 success at Hibernian which keeps them level on points with Celtic, but their inferior goal difference of 16 means that victory for Celtic over Hibs on Sunday will confirm them as Champions, barring a miracle. Kirsty Howat had a great night for Rangers, giving them a first half lead before adding two more after the break for her hat-trick. Hibs then staged a comeback in the last fifteen minutes with Michaela McAlonie and Jordan Baucom pulling goals back but Rangers held on for the points and will be praying that their opponents can do them a huge favour on the weekend.

Glasgow City can only look on in third place but continue to finish the season well, winning 2-0 away to Partick Thistle. Both goals came in the second half, Carlee Giammona opening the scoring eight minutes after the restart and the striker wrapped up the result by scoring her second late on.

Motherwell have a two point lead in the bottom half going into the last round of matches, moving ahead after beating Hamilton Academical 4-2. The Accies twice took the lead during the first half through Melissa Reid and Chloe Muir but ‘Well equalised on each occasion, Morgan Cross bagging a brace, before goals in the last eleven minutes from Amy Anderson and Joanne Addie gave them victory and left Hamilton one point adrift at the foot of the table.

Another significant result in the bottom half came at Aberdeen where the home side were held to a 1-1 draw by Dundee Utd who picked up a valuable point in their fight for survival. Morgan Steedman gave United a nineteenth minute lead, which was quickly cancelled out by Eva Thomson, but the result means that due to a vastly superior goal difference, Motherwell effectively need a point from their final game to finish above the Dons. That match will be away to Dundee United, who will avoid automatic relegation with a win whilst Hamilton will be hoping for assistance from ‘Well whilst getting something out of their home match with Montrose.

That will not be an easy task as Montrose continue to finish the season in good form and they will finish in a very creditable ninth place after edging out Spartans 4-3. Substitute Talitha Robb scored the injury time winner to add to earlier strikes from Louise Brown and Tammy-Lee Harkin as well as an own goal, whilst Spartans’ replies came from Caley Gibb, Erin Henderson and Mya Bates.

This gave Rangers the chance to draw level on points with Celtic if they could win at home to Hearts and they duly took the chance with a 3-0 victory. Chelsea Cornet opened the scoring midway through the first half and Jo Potter’s side went on to secure the points with further strikes in the last fifteen minutes from Lizzie Arnot and Libby Bance.

Despite their defeat, Hearts’ chances of a top four finish were actually increased after Hibernian went down to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Partick Thistle. A Megan Cunningham own goal had put Hibs ahead but a minute later, Thistle were level again thanks to Carla Boyce. Imogen Longcake then gave Partick the lead for the first time, midway through the second half, and Boyce netted her second four minutes later and this was to give her side victory, despite Jorian Baucom pulling one back for Hibernian in injury time.

Motherwell meanwhile kept their chances of finishing on top of the bottom half alive when they defeated Spartans 4-2. Two penalties from Laura Berry helped ‘Well on their way to victory and she was joined on the scoresheet by Louisa Boyes and Kayla Jardine, whilst Spartans’ replies came from Hannah Jordan and Alana Marshall.

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Hearts goalkeeper punches clear under pressure from Celtic’ Caitlin Hayes,  with Lizzie Waldie in close attendance  (SWPL/Colin Poultney).