Hearts recorded a hard-fought win over ten-man Hibs to stave off the threat of relegation for another few days at least.
The Tynecastle side would have been officially consigned to the Championship had they lost but Dale Carrick’s sixth-minute goal gave them a flying start.
Hibs rallied in the second half but the late dismissal of Alan Maybury and a stoppage-time goal from Hearts sub Billy King ensured a third win in four Edinburgh derbies for the Tynecastle side this season.
Hearts took the lead from the first chance of the match when Carrick was on hand to fire home from close range after Ryan Stevenson nodded a Callum Paterson cross down into his path.
Hibs threatened two minutes later but James Collins glanced a header just wide from Alan Maybury’s cross.
At the other end, David Smith sent a 15-yard snapshot straight into the arms of Hibs keeper Ben Williams after good work from Stevenson on the left.
Hibs carved out a decent chance in 29 minutes when Maybury’s low delivery found Danny Handling just inside the box, but the forward curled his effort narrowly beyond Jamie MacDonald’s left-hand post.
The visitors were then awarded a free-kick in a promising position 20 yards out, but Sam Stanton curled his effort harmlessly past.
Carrick had a chance to add a second in 39 minutes but he just failed to connect with a dangerous delivery from Smith.
Hibs should have equalised a minute later when Duncan Watmore skinned Kevin McHattie and cut the ball back for Collins, but the striker blasted over from a central position 15 yards out. Carrick then blew a good chance when he shot over from the edge of the box before Sam Nicholson saw a superb 20-yard strike tipped away by Ben Williams right on half-time.
Hearts went close again six minutes after the break when Smith ran on to a through pass from Carrick and blasted a low angled strike agonisingly beyond the far post.
Hibs almost levelled in 62 minutes but Ryan McGivern powered a near-post header from Stanton’s corner just past.
The visitors registered their first shot on target in 72 minutes when a low 20-yard drive from substitute Alex Harris was easily gathered by MacDonald.
The Hearts keeper was tested again two minutes later when he pounced to clutch a James Collins strike which deflected awkwardly off Jamie Hamill.
Hibs thought they had levelled in 82 minutes when Jordon Forster nodded in an inswinging delivery from Lewis Stevenson but the offside flag was up. Replays later showed the Hibs defender to be clearly onside.
Hibs were dealt another blow in 89 minutes as Maybury was sent off for a second bookable offence when he brought down Hearts King who was bursting clean through on goal.
And their misery was complete in stoppage time when King rounded Williams and slotted into an empty net after being teed up by Stevenson.
Hearts: MacDonald, Paterson, McGowan, Wilson, McHattie, Smith (McCallum 76), Hamill, Holt (Robinson 87), Nicholson, Stevenson, Carrick (King 82). Unused subs: Ridgers, McKay, McGhee, Walker.
Hibs: Williams, Maybury, Forster, Nelson, McGivern, Watmore (Harris 67), Taiwo (Thomson 70), Stanton, Stevenson, Handling (Cairney 85), Collins. Unused subs: Murdoch, Craig, Boateng, Heffernan.
Ref: Steven McLean.