Hibs cruise to victory over Hearts in final Edinburgh derby meeting of SWPL 1 season

Eilidh Adams scored for the fourth derby in succession as Hibs thumped Edinburgh rivals Hearts in the final league meeting between the sides this season.

Alexa Coyle had the hosts 1-0 up at the break after a first half disrupted by three extended injury stops in which Hibs controlled the majority of play but did survive an early scare.

The game at the Tony Macaroni Arena was laid to rest as a contest in an 11-minute period early in the second period where Hibs struck another three times through Michaela McAlonie, Shannon Leishman and Adams. Maria McAneny netted a consolation for the visitors.

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It means 11 goals in two league victories for the Hibees after the disappoint 2-0 defeat to Spartans earlier this month and a clean sweep of derbies this campaign.

Alexa Coyle is mobbed by her team-mates after opening the scoring for Hibs in the Edinburgh derby win over Hearts. Picture: SNS

"It’s Hibs and Hearts. It’s two brands where it doesn’t matter the gender, age group, anything. You want to make sure you win these games,” said Hibees boss Dean Gibson, whose team were wearing special yellow and blue kits to show support for the war in Ukraine. “First and foremost it’s about winning them, and if it’s about winning them in style then even better, and I thought we did that today.”

Adams could’ve scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes. On both occasions she was denied by Lisa Rodgers, the 16-year-old who made her Hearts debut in the last match between the sides, a 3-1 Hibs win at Tynecastle.

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Colette Cavanagh thought she’d opened the scoring only for the referee to rule out the goal due to an infringement before Hearts passed up an excellent opportunity to take the lead through Aimee Anderson. The attacker was on hand after Jenny Smith had driven into the penalty area and forced a save, but Anderson could only lift her finish high over the bar.

Coyle then broke the deadlock on 24 minutes. The American cushioned a volley from Amy Gallacher’s set-piece into the top corner of the net past a despairing Rodgers.

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Shannon Leishman shoots for goal. The effort would be deflected in off Hearts No.25, Shona Cowan. Picture: SNS

There were two stoppages in quick succession as Tegan Browning needed treatment after a 50-50 with Leishman, before a Smith challenge saw Hibs skipper Joelle Murray stay down. Murray would require treatment again later in the half, all of which contributed to the seven minutes of added on time. She and Browning would stay inside at the break.

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Hibs’ second came five minutes after the restart with Michaela McAlonie netting her first Edinburgh derby goal with a perfectly curled effort from 25 yards which gave Rodgers no chance.

The former Spartans ace was at the heart of the next two goals as well. Her battling for a Hunter cross led to Leishman shooting into the back of the net via a deflection off Shona Cowan. Three minutes later McAlonie then raced away from two defenders before squaring for Adams to finally get her goal.

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Maria McAneny found herself denied by a strong Gabby English save after nice work from Smith, but the Celtic loanee wouldn’t be denied a second time when she beat the keeper from 20 yards.

Both sets of players show support for Ukraine prior to kick-off. Picture: SNS
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"In phases of the game we were pretty good, especially in the first half when we should have taken the lead,” said Hearts assistant Sean Burt, “but overall with the result there’s an overwhelming feeling of disappointment.”

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