Hearts ensured they would go into the final day of the Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 season with the destiny of the title in their own hands, as hat-tricks from Danni McGinley and Rachel Walkingshaw contributed to what was always a comfortable 14-1 victory over bottom of the table Hutchison Vale.
The Jambos knew a victory of any kind against their Edinburgh rivals would ensure that a draw or victory in their final game of the season against Partick Thistle at Tynecastle would guarantee the title and SWPL 1 football next season.
Hutchie, who have had a season to forget, were under the cosh throughout and found themselves one down inside five minutes when defender Danni Pagilarulo scrambled in the opener. The Vale defence were sitting deep but Hearts were finding joy in moving their opponents around with Louise Mason doubling her side’s lead with ten minutes on the clock. Walkngshaw then got her first and Hearts’ third when she put the finishing touch on a good passing move before McGinley out jumped Megane Steel in the Hutchie goal to make it four with just over twenty minutes gone.
The visitors couldn’t get out of their own area with clearances quickly being returned in the form of another Jambo’s attack and Ashley Carse made it five-nil on the half hour when left unmarked at the back post. Steel was unable to cope with Claire Williamson’s long range effort as the wing back made it six before another Walkingshaw effort and a Danni McGinley double to round out the former Forfar Farmington striker’s first half hat trick had the home side 9-0 up at the interval.
Hearts dominance of possession and territory continued into the second period however it would take until the 62nd minute for Carse to grab her second and a tenth for her side and then Walkingshaw completed her hat trick as she volleyed in from close range after good work on the wing from Aisha Maughan. Claire Delworth and Robyn Smith added goals twelve and thirteen before Hutchie got themselves a consolation through Angyl Learmonth, the striker left to run the ball in from the half way line before cooly putting the ball past Parker-Smith in the opposing goal.
It would be the home side that would have the final say though as substitute Maddie Brill-Edwards added a fourteenth in injury time to put the full stop on what had been an emphatic display.
Whilst Vale will be hoping for a winter of regeneration after a bruising campaign, Hearts attention will now turn to Tynecastle next week and the challenge of Thistle. Should they slip up against the Jags then they could be punished by title rivals Hamilton Academical provided the Lanarkshire side score a victory from their tricky trip to face FC Kilmarnock as the SWPL2 title race heads for a final day showdown.
Heart of Midlothian: Parker-Smith, Delworth, Williamson, Hunter, Mason, Walkingshaw, Carse, McGinley, Pagliarulo, Kaney, Maughan. Subs: Mutch, Cunningham, Kidd, Smith, Edwards, Smith, Evans.
Hutchison Vale: Steel, Cunningham, Wilson, Meiklejohn, Meechan, Hastie, Learmonth, McCulloch, Wilson, Gilbertson, Jappy. Subs: Sharp
Heart of Midlothian Head Coach, Andy Enwood:
Heart of Midlothian Forward, Lauren Evans: