HEARTS teenager Graham Weir wrote himself into Edinburgh derby folklore with a sensational double in injury time to rescue a point against rivals Hibs at Tynecastle.
The Hibees looked set for their first win in five derbies after Grant Brebner made it 4-2 in the first minute of added on time, only for 18-year-old striker Weir to pop up with two strikes at the death to cap a scintillating and controversial New Year derby.
Hearts boss Craig Levein stuck with the same side that had defeated Dundee 2-1 four days earlier, meaning midfielder Phil Stamp, who had recovered from a calf injury, had to settle for a place on the bench.
Hibs goalkeeper Nick Colgan returned from suspension to replace Tony Caig, while manager Bobby Williamson also introduced Paul Fenwick, Tom McManus and Ian Murray back into the side.
Captain John O’Neil was missing with flu, while Paco Luna and Mathias Doumbe dropped down to the substitutes’ bench.
The visitors took the game to their hosts immediately from kick-off and took the lead after 11 minutes.
Home defender Alan Maybury was short with a pass back and Derek Townsley nipped in before goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie to slot the ball into the unguarded net.
Hearts paid for a couple of missed chances when Hibs extended their lead in the 17th minute following a free kick from Craig James.
Striker Tam McManus rose just inside the Hearts penalty box to flick the ball with his head into the net off the inside of the post.
Steven Pressley brought Hearts back into the game after slotting home a controversial penalty in the 30th minute.
Northern Irish striker Andy Kirk was one-on-one when he tumbled under the slightest of touches from keeper Colgan, and referee Stuart Dougal decided to show the goalkeeper a yellow instead of a red card.
Hearts had another penalty claim turned down after the break when striker Jarkko Wiss appeared to handle the ball inside his own penalty box.
The home side’s pressure eventually paid off after 62 minutes, when Mark de Vries met Steven Boyack’s cross to take the ball round Colgan before slotting home at the near post to make it 2-2.
On-loan defender James put Hibs ahead once again, however, when the ball broke to him from Wiss’s corner and he bulleted home from just inside the 18-yard box with just a minute of regular time remaining.
The Easter Road side were then awarded a penalty in injury time when the ball appeared to be handled by Pressley on the ground. Mixu Paatelainen’s spot-kick was blocked by McKenzie, but substitute Brebner fired home the rebound to give Hibs a two-goal advantage.
Hibs looked set to take maximum points back to Easter Road, but Weir gave Hearts a glimmer of hope when he managed to drive the ball into the net in the fourth minute of injury time.
The teenager then earned hero status with the Hearts fans when he fired home De Vries’s cross 42 seconds later.
The late drama kept third-top Hearts three points ahead of their city rivals in the Scottish Premier League table.
Hearts: McKenzie, Maybury, Mahe, McKenna, Pressley, Boyack, Severin, McFarlane, Valois, De Vries, Kirk.
Hibs: Colgan, Smith, Zambernardi, Fenwick, Orman, Wiss, Townsley, Murray, James, McManus, Paatelainen.