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Celtic to the fore in Stirling

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Celtic returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Stirling University in the scorching Easter Sunday fixture.

A Josephine Giard double, alongside efforts from Sarah Ewens and Natalie Ross was enough to see off Stirling in the intense heat as the first round of fixtures drew to a close.

Celtic travelled buoyed by Natalie Ross’ return from suspension and the game gave Eddie Wolecki Black the opportunity to introduce new signing Sam Hare, Nicole Cairney and Claire Crosbie into the fold.

Celtic started brightly with their attacking intent clear. On the ninth minute, Ewens found Keeva Keenan storming down the left to release the fullback, who drove forwards but her final shot only met the post. The Hoops didn't have to wait long for the opener though, with Ewens again providing, crossing in after good work down the right to allow Giard to blast it into the top corner with only 14 minutes on the clock.

The Hoops continued to create with Keenan hitting the side netting and Ross and Cairney forcing strong saves from the Stirling keeper.

Although Celtic dominated, they could only take a 1-0 lead into the interval. The visitors continued to press and just four minutes after the restart Ewens got on the scoresheet in incredible fashion, finding herself in space she fired in from well outside the box to make it two.

With twenty minutes to go, the Hoops put the game to bed, as Ross’ diving header from close range nestled in the back of the net, before Giard grabbed her second, slotting away coolly after great link up play between the German and trialist Suzanne Mulvey.

Celtic now prepare for a trip to Forfar next week, having now faced every team in the league, finishing the first round of fixtures in third behind Hibs on goal difference.

Celtic: Cunningham, Black (Hay, 62), O’Neill (Hodges, 55), Crosbie, Keenan (Craig, 57), McLaughlin (68, Mulvey), Giard, Ross, Ewens (Donaldson, 62), Hare, Cairney

Unused subs: Clark, Smart


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