THE exploits of last year’s all-conquering Bayside Girls 13s are providing inspiration for a new crop as they bid for their own Scottish Cup glory.

Less than 12 months on from the class of 2016 completing an historic unbeaten treble of league, League Cup and Scottish Cup, Bayside Blacks 13s – the majority of whom were league winners as Bayside 12s last season – are just three games away from lifting the national trophy after reaching the quarter-finals.

On June 25, the talented youngsters defeated Musselburgh Windsor 2-1 in their last 16 match, having already seen off Bonnyton Thistle and Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers in their previous encounters, to give them a chance of emulating last year’s squad, the majority of whom subsequently moved to Hearts.

The team, who also lost a thrilling League Cup semi-final by the odd goal in seven to Dundee United SC, finished second in the Fife 13s league behind Raith Rovers and look set to be included in another that will bring the top teams in each of the East Region leagues together after the summer break.

Coach David Noble is thrilled with the progress his players have made and commented: “The girls were inspired by Bayside 13s winning the Scottish Cup last season; we enjoyed following their exploits.

“Last Sunday, we beat Musselburgh Windsor, who are probably the second best team in the south-east region, and are in the quarter-finals with the likes of Hearts and Motherwell, and new teams like Pollok United. We’re delighted; on average we have a very young team and are playing against some players who are six or 12 months older.

“This is our first year at under-13s and we’ve done well so far; we were second in the Fife League behind Raith Rovers and reached the semi-final of League Cup. They’re very ambitious and hard-working, and a lot of the girls have just left primary school and are holding their own against older girls.

“It’s great to still be involved in the Scottish Cup and it’s exciting.”

He added: “The team is mostly made up of players who played with the 12s last season but we added a few players to that too. Bayside is a huge club; we’ve got 110 girls playing across all age levels from under-sevens up to under-15s and the ladies’ team. They know the pathway is there for them and that, if they’re good enough to be elite players, we’ll give them a platform.

“We always will be a community club that is open to everyone, and are still looking for girls to come along.”