Inverness Caley Thistle have flown the flag for the north so far in SWF Championship North as they continue to push for promotion to SWPL 2.
The Caley Jags sit third on 21 points from ten games, with a game in hand over second-placed East Fife and only six points behind leaders Montrose.
Karen Mason’s side’s current position comes as no surprise as in their last full season Inverness finished second behind now SWPL 1 side Aberdeen Women.
Inverness’s attacking calibre has been their strongest attribute, having scored 52 goals so far and only conceding 16 in return.
The Caley Jags’ biggest victory of the season was a 12-2 defeat of Grampian – with the scoreline making the occasion even more memorable as the women’s team played at the Caledonian Stadium for the first time.
Despite defeats to East Fife and likely champions Montrose, Caley Thistle’s promotion push is in a strong position as an achievable second-place finish would see them enter the play-offs.
While first place wins automatic promotion to SWPL 2, second place guarantees a play-off match between SWF Championship North and South’s second place teams, with the winner of that tie going on to play the side who finishes eighth in SWPL 2.
Caley Thistle face the prospect of a fixture pile-up going into 2022 with rescheduled games against Montrose and Dryburgh needing to be played.
But if Mason’s side can build upon their 2021 form, promotion could very well be in the pipeline.
It has been a season of ups and downs for Buchan, Westdyke, Grampian and Stonehaven – the other north teams in the league.
Buchan have made the most progress since the opening day of the season, having at one point sat bottom of the table to now being in fifth after an impressive run of form.
Having failed to pick up any points in their first six games, a 5-0 win at Stonehaven kicked off a four-game winning run in October and November – including an impressive 4-1 victory against second-placed East Fife.
For Grampian and Westdyke their season so far has struggled for consistent results, however both have picked up enough points to be sitting with a comfortable points cushion above the bottom two sides.
#SWFChampionship | Here's how the SWF Championship North table looks as we end 2021 ⬇
— SWF Championship (@SWFChampionship) December 12, 2021
Having covered several SWF Championship North games this season, a fixture between the two teams has been a personal highlight.
The game ended 5-4 in favour of Westdyke, but the 90 minutes was a fantastic advert for Scottish women’s football outside of the SWPL as both teams’ determination and passion was there for all to see.
It’s not been easy as of late for Stonehaven who sit second-bottom of the table with just four points from 11 games.
A recent heavy defeat to East Fife will have left them hurting so the winter break might have come at an opportune time as they regroup and look ahead to a more successful 2022.