East Renfrewshire’s Provost has praised an “exceptional” team of young footballers after witnessing them take part in a historic match at Hampden Park.

The girls’ team from St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock took on Stirling’s Wallace High School in the Scottish Schools Football Association’s (SSFA) Senior Girls Shield Final last Thursday (May 9).

It was the first time in the 25-year-long existence of the girls’ national competition that the showpiece finale had been staged at the national stadium.

Unfortunately for the St Ninian’s side, it was Wallace who snatched the shield in added on time to run out 1-0 winners as the prospect of a penalty shootout loomed.

Provost Mary Montague told the Barrhead News: "Congratulations to all of the St Ninian's Girls' players who were exceptional.

“It was a very close game with good football which went right down to the wire.

"I was delighted to be at the game at the national stadium and the atmosphere was outstanding.

“Everyone in East Renfrewshire is so proud of you for making it to the final.

“Well done to all of the players, you should take such pride in yourselves.

"This is such a great achievement for St Ninian's High."

“An outstanding effort from our St Ninian’s High girls,” added the school on social media.

“Congratulations to Wallace High school.”

Despite the game ultimately not going the East Renfrewshire team’s way, both sides grabbed their chance in the spotlight and produced a very good, well-contested match which had the most dramatic of finishes.

For the goal, Wallace’s Beth Watson sent in an in swinging corner which found the net despite the despairing effort of St Ninian’s young goalkeeper Olivia Kerr who the SSFA described as “excellent” and having “played so well throughout.”

Indeed, the fact that only one goal separated the teams was down to well organised defences and the performance of both young goalkeepers with Olivia enjoying numerous saves mainly at the feet of onrushing forwards.

There were also great spells of play, lots of chances made and some good chances missed in a game that tested the endurance and fitness of both teams on the big Hampden surface.

Both teams also took advantage of the roll on, roll off substitution system allowed in school’s football.

“Substitutions were a prominent part of the game and the physios of both teams were kept busy,” added the spokesperson.

“This probably led to the significant period of added time played by the excellent match referee Lauren Whitehead and her assistants Victoria Kane and Caitlin Hamilton.

“SSFA President Gillian Duffy, Scotland legend Rose Riley and Scottish Football Partnership’s Sandy Hodge presented the medals at time up to the match officials and players of both teams.

“Well done to the girls of both teams for a very good, testing and historic final watched by around 900 well entertained spectators.”