Coach overwhelmed with "pride" as Penicuik Athletic U16 girls complete double

Head coach Steven Clarke was overwhelmed with “pride” after his Penicuik Athletic Under-16 girls team completed a league and cup double with victory over Giffnock.

Goals from Caitlin Waterson, Emily Brown and Emily Reid ensured the Midlothian side side ran out 3-1 winners at Ochilview in the under-16s girls Scottish Challenge Youth Cup final.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” Clarke told Edinburgh Evening News. “I feel it is deserved for our effort over the season. Pride is my overarching emotion. I saw it in the warm-up. Just looking at their faces, they were engaged. I just knew we would do well. There was effort all over the park. Everyone was encouraging each other. The girls performed on the day.”

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Penicuik opened the scoring 19 minutes in. A brilliant through-ball was played to Caitlin Waterson and shed calmly slid the ball past the opposing keeper. Clarke’s side continued their strong start and doubled their lead only a minute later. Emily Brown fired a thunderous free kick into the net from at least 25 yards.

Penicuik celebrate at full-time with the Youth Cup secured. Picture: Aimee Todd | Sportpix for SWF

Penicuik’s domination continued into the second half, extending their lead just a minute in. Emily Reid found space inside the box to finish with composure. Penicuik were then awarded a penalty six minutes later when Reid was brought down as she burst into the box, but Jenna Clarke’s spot kick was saved by Faith Wilson.

Giffnock pulled a goal back in the 57th minute with a Kaitlyn Irvine lob from the edge of the box over the keeper. Penicuik’s lead was almost reduced to one goal when Katherine Sharp found herself free in the box, but her effort was well saved by Penicuik goalkeeper Ella Mar. “When the goalkeeper was called upon she performed fantastically. What a save to keep it 3-1, which was a big difference at that time,” said Clarke.

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Looking to the future, Clarke added: “We will now move up to the under-18s and all the girls will come up with us, which is fantastic”, he stated. “They are a very strong unit. We’ve got strong, fast, skilful players – a great mix. I have every faith that the team will do well at under-18s even though some will be a lot younger than many of the existing players.”