Lewis and Harris women’s football team ended a glorious phase of women’s football in the islands with a cup triumph yesterday (Saturday August 24th).

Beckoning university careers and a series of bad experiences travelling to matches have combined to close a chapter of league football as far as the island women are concerned.

Lewis and Harris WFC lifted the trophy after the first-ever Highlands and Islands league final on Saturday, with a 7-nil win over Clachnacuddin Women FC, and returned to Stornoway to a heroes’ welcome and a triumphant piping through the ferry terminal.

The final match at the Inverness Caledonian stadium was only the latest of a series of thumping results for the team, who earned their place in the final with a 13-nil semi-final win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. But the islands team had already announced their intention to withdraw from future league competition in a statement last Friday, when they said:

“We have had a fantastic experience this season and would like to thank everyone who has supported us on the way. Inevitably it was going to be a season of challenge where the size of our squad, along with the various demands of competing regularly on the mainland, would be pivotal to our continued success. The combination of these factors has proved to be a challenge too far for us at this stage.”

Coach Euan Macleod said a combination of injury and players heading off to university had reduced the squad numbers, and a series of bad ferry crossings to matches had sapped their enthusiasm to compete.

The decision comes at a time when island women’s football is scoring some notable successes. Point’s goalie Chloe Nicolson has signed for the Rangers under-19s team and Lochs goalie Rachael Johnston, already playing for Celtic, headed off this morning (Sunday) to Slovenia, where she hopes to earn her fifth Scotland cap during two friendly matches this week.

Pic Trevor Martin/Scottish Women’s Football