There were 4345 spectators at Tynecastle yesterday afternoon to witness history being made. Last week I watched three matches, on Monday going along to McDiarmid Park in Perth for the Scottish Premiership play-off second leg between St Johnstone and Inverness Caley Thistle. The former Hearts chap, who apparently forgot to order the seats for the stand we were sitting in yesterday – the same chap who tried to mobilise the Null and Void vote with Celtic 13 points clear when covid stopped play – was looking to get Inverness Caley Thistle back into the top division after 5 years, since their relegation during our Invincible season.
Delighted as I was at the 4-0 victory for St Johnstone – you had to marvel that the influence is clearly there with the Highland support happy these days to adopt the Ibrox songbook – it’s fair to say that decent second half for St Johnstone, the football overall wasn’t great.
Then there was the Champions League Final with Liverpool losing in the way Celtic do when we suffer a domestic defeat in the league, we don’t take our chances against a team with the bus parked, they get a chance and score, think of Celtic’s last league defeat away to Livingston last September. Good result for the winners, Livingston and at the weekend, Real Madrid, no-one to blame but themselves for Celtic then Liverpool, just bad days at the office.
And Saturday’s Champions League final was not great viewing for the millions watching around the world was it?
Then there was the Women’s League Cup Final in Edinburgh yesterday afternoon. Both sides Celtic and Glasgow City had a decent support, maybe Celtic slightly ahead on that front but plenty more could have been there. And had they made the effort – where for instance was the Green Brigade and The Bhoys who were brilliant in the women’s match against Hibs at Celtic Park, singing for the entire 90 minutes that day? – they would have enjoyed a day to remember.
They would have loved yesterday’s match, which was shown live on BBC Alba, on the Pass to Paradise for season ticket holders and on Celtic TV for subscribers outside of Britain and Ireland. So plenty will have enjoyed the match on television, but it’s never the same as actually being there is it?
Members of the Celtic Board were at the game, led by Michael Nicholson and so was Ian Maxwell, the CEO at the Scottish FA, no doubt raising an eyebrow or two at the standard of refereeing. Earlier in the season Celtic lost to Glasgow City in controversial circumstances in the SWPL. Have a look at these photographs of the incident, but they don’t really do justice to what happened. The context by way of an explanation is to tell you that the Glasgow City player Niamh Farrelly came into this challenge at full speed, holding nothing back and also that the closest person to the incident was Mr Maxwell’s referee.
Here’s the photograph of that challenge…
…and here’s the aftermath after a lengthy delay when Chloe Craig received treatment.
What happened next was that Glasgow City SUBSTITUTED Niamh Farrelly as the (male) referee stood there, not even issuing a yellow card after a straight leg challenge at full speed that clearly endangered an opponent.
Yesterday at Tynecastle Mr Maxwell’s referee could have ruined the Women’s Scottish Cup Final by awarding a penalty to Glasgow City for this ‘challenge’ (shown below) by the unfortunate Jodie Bartle – who once scored a last minute winner against theRangers at Murray Park only for the referee to pull the play back for a penalty to Celtic (we scored but Jodie was denied her goal and it was as curious an interpretation of the advantage rule as you could imagine).
BREAB PEANAIS – CAIRT DHEARG – TADHAL
Breab-peanais do @GlasgowCityFC an turas seo agus tha ud co-ionann a-rithist!
— BBC ALBA (@bbcalba) May 29, 2022
Still Celtic didn’t give up, playing 80 minutes, including extra time with 10 players and were deserved winners, with Sarah Harkes and Izzy Atkinson combining to score a winner which had shades of Jota and Kyogo and that wonderful goal against Ferencvaros in the Europa League, see below.
⚽TADHAL⚽ THA @CelticFCWomen AIR THOISEACH!
— BBC ALBA (@bbcalba) May 29, 2022
No-one could deny this Celtic team their glory yesterday, for the second cup final in a row they outplayed, outfought and outthought Glasgow City, as their long period of domination of the Scottish game came to an end with a trophyless season.
There will be two trophies won by Fran Alonso’s team in the Boardroom at Celtic Park which this doing the tours at Celtic Park will get the chance to see this summer.
And the newest arrival, the Women’s Scottish Cup, is now at Paradise for the first time ever. Yesterday Celtic FC Women made history winning their first ever double and the Women’s Scottish Cup for the first time. And for those who still aren’t convinced about the merits of the women’s game I’ll say this, that was the best game of the week I’d watched. By a country mile.
Well done you Ghirls in Green.
*We’ll do a photo special next for you to enjoy The Celtic Star – leading the way for the Celtic Fan Media in supporting the women’s team – images from Tyecastle on what was a very special day for Celtic Football Club.
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