Hibs Ladies hat-trick hero Jamie-Lee Napier couldn’t hide her delight following the sensational 8-0 victory over SWPL 2 champions Motherwell in the SSE Scottish Cup final.
The 18-year-old winger, who joined from Celtic earlier this year, admitted that finishing off her maiden season as a double cup winner – the Hibees thrashed her former club 9-0 in the SWPL Cup final in May – was just the success she had hoped for.
The Scotland Under-19 star also revealed that the success at Firhill had gone some way to making up for the disappointment of missing out on the SWPL 1 league title to Glasgow City last weekend.
It’s the third consecutive year the club have won both cup competitions.
“I’m buzzing we went out and won the game but it’s extra sweet to score my first senior hat-trick in a Scottish Cup final. It couldn’t have come at a better time,” the teenager said afterwards.
“In some ways it makes up for losing out on the league but it’s still disappointing as we’d worked so hard all season. You always want to win as much as you can but we just need to refocus and hopefully win it next year.
“I feel like I’ve developed more as a player since moving to Hibs so I just want to keep progressing. Winning cups is a bonus and hopefully we can achieve that again next year.”
It was all too easy for the Capital side who assumed the lead as early as the second minute when Abi Harrison’s pinpoint shot from outside the box curled past Autumn Farrell and into the far corner.
Napier grabbed her first of the match just four minutes later, Rachel McLauchlan’s cross picking out the youngster, who had the simplest of tasks in knocking the ball into the net from a couple of yards.
Conceding two early goals knocked the stuffing out of Motherwell and Grant Scott’s players sensed a big victory was there for the taking.
The third goal of the afternoon arrived from an Emma Brownlie corner, the Well defence failing to clear their lines allowing Harrison to capitalise.
The SWPL 1 runners-up were now toying with their opponents and Chelsea Cornet was denied by Farrell from another player-of-the-match McLauchlan cross.
A terrific change of pace from Harrison saw the striker burst down the right and from her cut-back, Kirsten Reilly couldn’t keep her shot under the crossbar.
Harrison then pulled up with a hamstring strain and had to be replaced by Lauren Davidson just after the half-hour mark. And within 60 seconds of coming on, the substitute, who joined the club in the summer, outpaced her marker before prodding the ball under Farrell.
Number five arrived as a McLauchlan drive across goal deflected in off the unfortunate Maxine Welsh before a fine solo effort from Cailin Michie saw Hibs chalk up six before the break.
Such a handsome scoreline afforded Scott the luxury of making wholesale changes in the second half but that didn’t disrupt the flow of the game.
McLauchlan was again involved in a move that saw Napier head home her second and Hibs’ seventh before the teenager wrapped up her hat-trick with a simple tap-in.
“We did plan for a tougher game but with the greatest respect to Motherwell, when we start to play like we did in the first half and score so early, it’s going to be difficult for them,” head coach Scott said. “We’ve not conceded a lot of goals this season. But, at the end of the day, we’ve got a job to do.
“Motherwell deserve an enormous amount of credit for getting here and with the season they’ve had.”
Hibs: Fife, Napier (Tweedie 71), Hunter (Notley 59), Robertson, McLauchlan, Michie, Murray, Cornet (Gallacher 59), Harrison (Davidson 31), Brownlie (Williamson 79), Reilly. Subs: McGregor.
Motherwell: Farrell, Nicolson, Welsh (Russell 46), Condie, Turner (Reside 67), McLaughlin, Hare (Canavan 75), Cunningham, Mulvey, Black, Burns. Subs: Welsh, Montgomery.
Referee: Molly Alexander.