Wallace High girls crowned Scottish champions to cap ‘Invincible’ season

The senior girls at Wallace High School are in dreamland after their historic Scottish Cup victory at Hampden made it a season to remember.

A group of young women in purple football kit stand on a balcony with their hands in the air as their skipper, in the middle, holds a large football trophy shield.
The Wallace High School seniors became the first team in the 53 year history of the school - boys or girls - to win the Scottish Cup. Pic credit: Ian Cairns/Scottish Schools FA

The Stirling school’s under-18s defeated St Ninian’s High from Giffnock in the end of season showpiece on Thursday night – the first time it had been hosted at the national stadium.

An injury time winner from Beth Watson – scored straight from a corner – gave Wallace High a 1-0 victory as captain Sophie Timlin proudly lifted the Scottish Schools’ Football Association Shield high above her head.

Hundreds of fans from the Stirling community, including scores of parents, carers, friends and family, celebrated as the girls went undefeated in an ‘Invincible’ season that also saw them win their local league and League Cup competitions.

Head coach Rachel Whillans is Principal Teacher at Wallace High’s School of Sport, which was launched in November 2012 and now supports its pupils’ potential in football, rugby, swimming, dance and basketball.

A football team of young women, in purple kit, pose in two lines on a football field with medals and a trophy shield on the grass in front of them.
The Wallace High girls have completed an 'Invincible' season and completed a 'Treble' of league, League Cup and Scottish Cup successes. Pic credit: Ian Cairns/Scottish Schools FA

She said: “I am honoured to coach a group of girls who have made me so proud and embody everything that’s great about our school. They are a credit to themselves and their families and we’re absolutely delighted to have brought girls’ football to the national stage at Hampden.

“Many of the girls were part of our under-15 squad who lost out narrowly in the final last season at Alloa and they have shown character and resilience to bounce back in such style against an excellent St Ninian’s side. Both teams contributed so much to a fabulous occasion.

“We played seven tough games and came through two penalty shoot-outs to win the trophy and every single member of the squad has played their part. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive group of players – or colleagues, from Head Teacher Scott Pennock and Colin Burke, our Head of PE, to the janitors and dinner ladies who have encouraged the girls every step of the way.”

A group selife, with smiling young women in purple football kit giving their thumbs up to the camera from the football field.
Head coach Rachel Whillans and the team were cheered on by hundreds of people from Stirling in the final at Hampden Park.

Head Teacher Scott Pennock said: “I’ve never felt so proud to be Head Teacher of Wallace High than when the final whistle blew at Hampden.

“Everything about the occasion was absolutely wonderful; the crowd, the atmosphere and the coming together of the community – and not just from Wallace High, as we had supporters at Hampden from across the whole Stirling area.

“I’m very proud of Rachel and our staff in the PE department and, of course, I’m so proud of our girls. They were magnificent and their achievement will stay with them forever.”

A group of young women, in school uniform, are pictured in a line on a football field, behind which a large scoreboard reveals their names and kit numbers.
The Wallace High girls lost narrowly in the Scottish Cup final last season at Alloa, but would not be denied this year at Hampden.

Cllr Margaret Brisley, convener of the Children and Young People committee, said:

“The Wallace High School girls and head coach Miss Whillans are an inspiration and this thrilling Scottish Cup victory was testament to their dedication, team work and commitment to each other.

“Well done girls.  I know your parents, families and friends will be so proud of your achievements and so too are the people of Stirling. We have been cheering you all the way and are delighted you got the rewards your efforts deserved.

“The memory of your Hampden victory will live with you forever and the friendships made on your amazing journey will continue for many, many years to come.”