A new star is born! Sixteen-year-old Jimmy O’Rourke was a shining light in Hibs’ 2-1 victory over Dutch team Utrecht – a victory that gave Hibs a 3-1 aggregate win and took them to the quarter-finals of the Fairs Cities Cup.
The wee chap with the Bobby Johnstone look was taken to heart by the 6000 spectators for his tenacity on the ball and his eagerness to have a crack at goal at every opportunity.
Indeed he had the best shot of the night – a thunderer that sped for the goal from 18 yards and was diverted over the bar by the agile Dutch keeper.
The youngster was ever in the thick of things and although he won’t be rushed by Hibs he is certain to make his mark in Scottish football.
Another thrill for Hibernian supporters was the return to form of Gerry Baker who kept the line moving slickly and scored a magnificent goal to set his colleagues on the confident road to the next round.
But it was not rosy for Hibs to begin with. Their injury hoodoo struck again when Hughes called off with an eye ailment, and in the opening phase deputy George Muir – playing his second senior game this season – slithered about in the mud in a most unhappy way.
Then, after the Utrecht international centre had missed an open goal, the Dutchmen scored in 22 minutes through Geurtsen.
Two minutes later Baker retrieved Hibernian’s fortunes with a cracking goal from a difficult angle, and, although it was not until two minutes after the interval that Morris Stevenson made sure, Hibs always looked likely winners.
The Welsh referee was barracked by the crowd for some decisions. Two non-scoring free kicks in the penalty box should have been penalties.
On the whole, it was a stimulating game and should have put Hibs in good heart for their exacting league programming that was to follow.
Elsewhere in the Fairs Cities Cup, Jock Stein’s Dunfermline Athletic were beaten 4-0 by Valencia in Spain. “Sunday school football” was the comment of Stein, who blamed the French referee, Mr Barberans, for his side’s lost. Enraged by the decisions made by the referee in the first half, Stein walked on to the pitch at half-time when Dunfermline were three down and indicated his dissatisfaction at the referee’s handling of the match by waving his arms.
Dunfermline had only themselves to blame for their heavy defeat. Some of the goals came from defensive blunders.
Jimmy O’Rourke went on to score 122 goals for the Hibees in 294 appearances, including in the 6-2 aggregate loss to Dunfermline and Jock Stein’s adversaries Valencia in the quarter-final
Hibs: Simpson, Fraser, McClelland, Grant, Muir, MacLeod, Scott, Falconer, Baker, O’Rourke, Stevenson.