Fiona McIntyre, Managing Director, SWPL

Welcome to the 2023/24 Sky Sports Cup Final at Tynecastle Park.

I’d like to start by thanking Heart of Midlothian for hosting the match for the second season in a row. Tynecastle Park - renowned for the incredible atmosphere it can create - is one of the most iconic and accessible stadiums in Scotland and provides a wonderful backdrop for the final.  

I can’t quite believe it has been over 15 months since Rangers defeated Hibernian 2-0 here. That day was a historic moment for the game as it marked the first-ever Sky Sports Cup Final, the first SWPL match live on Sky Sports, a record-breaking crowd, Rangers’ first trophy in this competition, and a goal of the season winner from Lizzie Arnot. We hope this final will create even more history for women’s football in Scotland.

I want to thank Sky Sports for their continued support and commitment to the women’s game. This is the second season of our seven-year partnership and already their brand has become synonymous with this competition. Alongside the partnership with this competition, our broadcast partnership ensures a minimum of five SWPL games per season are shown live on Sky Sports and the SWPL has a regular presence on Sky channels, including Sky Sports News which ensures the SWPL is showcased to new audiences on a regular basis. There is no doubt about the significant impact this partnership, with a globally recognised brand, has had on the SWPL and the wider women’s game in Scotland.

I’d like to congratulate both Rangers and Partick Thistle for reaching this year’s final. Both have earned their place, making it through incredibly tight and highly contested semi-finals,  and we can expect a close match between two teams who drew 0-0 when they last met in the ScottishPower Women’s Premier League. I’d like to give a special mention to Partick Thistle who have reached an elite women’s cup final for the first time in their history and will hope to win this competition for the first time. You can find out more about their respective 'Roads to the Final' within this programme.

I want to thank you for attending and for your support of the women’s game. If you do enjoy the game, there is more SWPL action throughout the season, starting next Sunday and you can find out more about the upcoming fixtures on our website, SWPL.UK.

Finally, to the players, club officials, and the match officials, good luck. We hope that today provides a memorable occasion for you, just as much as it does for everyone watching.

Gary Hughes, Director of Football, Sky Sports

It is brilliant to be hosting the Sky Sports Final back at Tynecastle Park for the second year running.

The excitement of partnering with the SWPL last season as title sponsors of the League Cup provided us with some memorable moments, including Lizzie Arnot’s goal of the season strike in the final which had a record attendance.

There was also the dramatic title race which went to the final day of the campaign – with all the twists and turns live across Sky Sports – only adding to the excitement surrounding women’s football.

Eilidh Barbour will again be on hand at Tynecastle Park to bring fans closer to the action and the Cup final coverage will serve as part of a bumper Sunday for our Women’s Football Weekend.

The game is thriving and we believe it will continue to do so but it’s all down to fans like you supporting your clubs. Hopefully we will continue to build on the success of last year with another memorable day in Edinburgh as Rangers take on Partick Thistle, plus enjoy what is set to be another dramatic climax to the season at both ends of the SWPL.

Enjoy the game!


Eilidh Barbour, Presenter, Sky Sports Football

The 2023/24 Sky Sports Cup Final is here. Starting back on September 3, fast-forward 18 games and we have our two finalists. Rangers against Partick Thistle.

It’s a fitting match-up. Rangers have hit the ground running under new head coach, Jo Potter. Her side have lost just once this season and lead the title race by one point. While at Partick Thistle, they have solidified their position as a top-six side and have reached their first-ever elite women’s cup final. They are arguably the most improved side this season.

So how did we get here? 

In round one, the eight SWPL 2 teams entered. As has been the case this season, there were lots of goals across the four matches with 16 in total. Three of the matches were settled in extra-time as Kilmarnock defeated Gartcairn 4-3, Queen’s Park were 1-0 winners over Glasgow Women, and St Johnstone prevailed 3-2 against Livingston. The only side to win over 90 minutes were Boroughmuir Thistle with a 3-0 win away to Stirling University.

Round two saw the 12 SWPL sides enter and most results went as expected. Montrose produced probably the biggest upset of the round with a 3-0 victory at home to Motherwell while Boroughmuir Thistle came away 4-3 winners over league leaders Queen’s Park in the only all-SWPL 2 match. Thistle’s fellow SWPL 2 sides were both defeated as St Johnstone were on the receiving end of a heavy loss to Glasgow City while Kilmarnock were beaten 3-0 at home to Dundee United. The other matches saw Celtic win 6-0 against Hamilton Accies, Hibernian defeat Aberdeen 6-2, Partick Thistle down Spartans 2-0, and Rangers overcome Hearts 4-1 at Oriam in perhaps the tie of the round.

The quarter-finals saw two of Scotland’s top three sides meet as Celtic hosted Glasgow City on November 10. Surprisingly, it was a straightforward victory for the home side as they prevailed 3-0 on the night thanks to goals from Natalie Ross, Amy Gallacher, and Kit Loferski.

The other three matches were played two days later with both Hibernian and Rangers progressing to the semi-finals with 7-0 victories. The final match saw Partick Thistle come back from 1-0 down at home to Montrose to progress 2-1 with goals from Rachel Donaldson and Imogen Longcake.

The semi-final stage this season provided two classics of this competition. On January 19, Celtic hosted Rangers. It was 0-0 at half-time but the match burst to life in the second-half. Chloe Craig opened the scoring from the penalty spot for Celtic before Rangers fought back to take the lead from goals by Kathryn Hill and Kirsty Maclean. With the game looking over, there was late drama at both ends. Firstly, Celtic were awarded another penalty which Craig converted to bring the sides level. As if that wasn’t enough, Rangers were then awarded a penalty of their own right at the death. Rio Hardy stepped up and finished to put her side through to this final.

Next up, Partick Thistle hosted Hibernian in difficult conditions at Petershill Park. While it wasn’t a huge surprise the Jags prevailed, Hibs’ history within this competition as the most successful side and improvements since the return of Grant Scott to the helm seemingly gave them an edge. That wasn’t the case on the day though as it was Brian Graham’s side who dominated and were worthy winners thanks to Linzi Taylor and Rosie Slater’s goals.

Would it be a surprise if Partick Thistle defeated Rangers today? Somewhat. The two sides drew 0-0 in their most recent meeting in the league, showing how far Partick Thistle have come since their unexpected promotion to the top division in 2021. However, Rangers have won every other meeting between the sides before and will be desperate to make it back-to-back titles in this competition.

They say the first goal can be crucial in football, and I think today that’s more relevant than ever. Both sides are solid defensively with Rangers having conceded 13 goals (three in the Sky Sports Cup) across the season and Partick Thistle have conceded 30, but just once in the Sky Sports Cup. One goal in the last meeting would have been enough for either side.

For the Jags, they know they need to limit Rangers who are more emphatic and clinical in front of goal. They’ve scored 103 times across the league and the cup compared to Partick Thistle’s 40. For Brian Graham and his side, they’ve shut them out once this season and will hope to go one step further this time out.

No matter what, the 2023/24 Sky Sports Cup has been one to remember. You can expect more history on the pitch, regardless of the result.

Rangers Head Coach Interview

Jo Potter wants Rangers to "lay down a marker" by winning the first piece of silverware up for grabs this season.

Rangers take on Partick Thistle as they bid to retain the trophy they won for the first time last season at Tynecastle Park.

Speaking to the official Sky Sports Cup final matchday programme, she said: "I think the first trophy is always important. The first opportunity to get one is always important.

"It is a big opportunity for us to lay down a marker and be the first club to get it this season, which we definitely want to do.

"That is our trophy to retain so we want to make sure we are keeping our hands firmly on that if we can.

"It is a really big occasion for us. I have said to the players previously that it is their cup to retain. I really want to get my hands on it and get my first piece of silverware for this club. I think it is important for us."

Rangers got to the final with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Old Firm rivals Celtic in the last four, with former Lioness Potter highlighting that win as their standout moment in the run to the final.

She continued: "Was the Old Firm semi-final standout moment in the run? That is hard to look past, we were excellent that day.

"I think we were definitely deserved winners but the character of the squad and the players when we went behind to step up and be accounted for and continue to play the way we play no matter what we were up against was big for us.

"I think that is something that we have shown throughout, that character and that belief no matter what is happening in front of us.

"Behind, in front, no matter what we are always there and we are always fighting. That fighting spirit should carry us a long way."

Rangers claimed the trophy in December 2022 with a 2-0 win over Hibernian, thanks to Lizzie Arnot's goal of the season and a strike from Kirsty Howat, and Potter wants her team to use that success to get them over the line when they take on the Jags.

"I think the experiences of being in those situations are vital for us," she added. "It is hard to replicate finals and that pressure and being in that stadium.

"It is big for us to have experienced that, playing in big moments in big games.

"I am hoping they can draw on those experiences and remember how it feels and for me it is just trying to keep calm and remember what we do and what we do well.

“Trying to remain focused on that and doing what we need to do to win that game."

Player Feature: Chelsea Cornet

Rangers' Chelsea Cornet believes it would be a "massive statement" if the club could retain the Sky Sports Cup on Sunday.

However, the midfielder is wary of the challenge Partick Thistle pose.

The Jags held the SWPL leaders to a 0-0 draw in their last meeting, having also secured back-to-back top-six finishes and their spot in a first national cup final.

Cornet, however, insists victory over their Glasgow rivals would not only seal the trophy but boost their title push too.

"That would be a massive statement to the rest of the top six," she said. "Our main focus is to retain the trophy and if we do manage to achieve that then that will really show to the rest of the teams.

"With the league now, every team we play is really competitive. We know Partick Thistle will put out a strong performance but we are looking to dominate and our main aim is to come away with that trophy."

The 25-year-old, who made her first start for Scotland in last month's international break, started in Rangers' victory over Hibernian to seal the trophy last season.

She continued: "Will the experience of last season stand you in good stead ahead of the game? Of course, obviously we have got fond memories of winning at Tynecastle.

"It is another opportunity to get silverware and retain the cup, so that is our main focus when the time comes for the game.

"Was the Old Firm semi-final the standout game in the run to Tynecastle? That is obviously the main moment for us. We knew it was a big game for us and we went out and showed what we were capable of. It is always sweet to win those games."

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Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Celtic vs Rangers (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle vs Hibernian (photo: Malcolm Mackenzie)

Partick Thistle Head Coach Interview

Finding a balance between playing and management has proven to be a difficult feat for many. However, it is a challenge that Partick Thistle men's captain turn women's head coach Brian Graham has been relishing in.

Clocking over 150 appearances on the pitch and scoring more than 70 goals in the process - Graham has also made history in the dugout too.

Since taking charge of the Jags in September 2020, he hit the ground running by sealing promotion from SWPL2, before claiming back-to-back top-six finishes and guiding the team to a first national cup final.

Now, there is another bit of history in his sights as he targets a win over Rangers at Tynecastle Park.

"To be leading a team out at a national final - the first for Partick Thistle as a club since 1971 and first for the women's side, it is an incredible moment," he said.

"It a very special moment for me and my players in terms of how far we’ve come since I came into the club.

"In my first year we finished third, which got us up. After getting to the top flight, it was all about not finishing bottom, we managed to do that and then went on to get two back-to-back top-six finishes and reach this final - it is an incredible rise in a short period of time.

"There is no way on earth before a ball was kicked this season that people would say Partick Thistle would be in a national cup final but it just shows the progression of the group over the last couple of years."

League meetings against Rangers have been close - with a 0-0 draw following a narrow 1-0 loss earlier in the season, giving the Thistle boss reason for optimism his part-time side can beat the SWPL leaders.

Graham added: "I remember as a young player I got to a final and players told me to remember it, as it might be my last. I want my players to really enjoy the day because that saying is true - sometimes you might only get to a final once and you need to savour every moment.

"The results against Rangers this season give me belief that we have the ability to match them in a final. It’s a one-off game, anything can happen.

"We have a community, togetherness, a team bond and spirit within the group, staff and players alike. That’s what I want my football club to be, honest and demanding of each other to set standards high.

"I want my players to go out there with everything they've got, have no regrets, and give it their all. If we fall short, we fall short, as long as you’ve given everything then that’s all that matters to me. I just have the belief that we can do it."

Player Feature: Demi Falconer

Captain Demi Falconer insists part-time Partick Thistle will "not sit back" as they take on SWPL leaders Rangers in the club’s first national final.

The Jags got to Tynecastle Park after victories over Spartans, Montrose and last season's runners-up Hibernian and are now targeting more history.

Falconer, who has made over 100 consecutive appearances for the club after joining in 2020, was named captain last season and admits leading the team out on Sunday will be a dream come true.

"It is a huge honour and a privilege," she said. "I’m the one that gets to wear the armband every week and obviously to do it in a national final is a bit more special.

"You dream of reaching that final and walking out in that stadium. I've got a fantastic bunch of girls behind me and every single one of them could wear the armband.

"You’ve seen us going through the different leagues and we’ve kept building on that with top-six finishes in back-to-back seasons. This team seems to be making history every time we walk out onto the pitch and it is something I’m really proud to be a part of.

"A lot of people did not expect us to get to this position so we are going into a game as underdogs with no pressure on us, but it's the level that we want to compete in as a team.

"It’s a cup final, we’re not here to sit back and hold off. We’re going to leave everything on the pitch, and as soon as we cross that white line, we’ll be giving it our all and fighting until the very end."

Partick Thistle have been boosted by a growing crowd at games this season and Falconer insists that support has been key in helping the club finish in the top six and reach this final.

She added: "It’s a huge game with a huge attendance, something the girls haven’t experienced before.

"Our crowds are getting bigger every game and as much as it is a cliché, they really are so important to us when we cross that line.

Watch Partick Thistle fan Nathan Beard perform the club's official Sky Sports Cup final song - 'Be Part of This'

Watch Partick Thistle fan Nathan Beard perform the club's official Sky Sports Cup final song - 'Be Part of This'

"Playing at Partick Thistle – it is a real family vibe. We’ve got lots of fans coming through from Glasgow to Edinburgh which will be great for us and hopefully we can do them proud."

Sunday’s final is the first for the club since 1971 and a first for the women’s team – so what would it mean to Falconer to walk up as captain and lift the trophy after the game?

"It’s hard to put into words how I would feel in that moment but it is something you dream of doing as a little girl and especially for me growing up as a Hearts fan, it would make it that bit more special to lift a cup at Tynecastle Park," she said.

"Brian’s favourite word is ‘belief’. That is something that we'll be taking into the game - we're going in with a lot of belief and confidence that we can go and bring that trophy back."

Match Info

1 - Jenna Fife

2 - Nicola Docherty

3 - Rachel McLauchlan

4 - Kathryn Hill

6 - Tessel Middag

7 - Brogan Hay

8 - Rachel Rowe

9 - Kirsty Howat

10 - Rio Hardy

12 - Libby Bance

13 - Jane Ross

14 - Mia McAulay

15 - Lizzie Arnot

16 - Eilidh Austin

17 - Sarah Ewens

19 - Chelsea Cornet

21 - Lisa Martinez

22 - Victoria Esson

23 - Kirsty Maclean

24 - Olivia McLoughlin

26 - Jodi McLeary

1 - Ava Easdon

2 - Rosie Slater

3 - Emma Lawton

4 - Cheryl McCulloch

5 - Demi Falconer

7 - Kodie Hay

8 - Clare Docherty

9 - Cara Henderson

10 - Claire Adams

11 - Rebecca McAllister

12 - Rachel Donaldson

14 - Amy Bulloch

15 - Linzi Taylor

16 - Rachel Wright

17 - Jenna Ferguson

18 - Megan Robb

19 - Vhairi Munro

20 - Shona Cowan

21 - Leah Robinson

22 - Rosie McQuillan

23 - Aimee Anderson

24 - Carla Boyce

25 - Megan Cunningham

26 - Chloe Logan

27 - Imogen Longcake

30 - Lucy Sinclair

Referee – Duncan Nicolson

Assistant Referee 1 – Chris Gentles

Assistant Referee 2 – Lauren Whitehead

Fourth Official – Joel Kennedy

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, extra time of 30 minutes will be played. Thereafter, if necessary, kicks from the penalty mark will determine the outcome.