Drawing 1-1 with 11 minutes remaining at the Waterford Regional Sports Centre, the Riccarton Under-21s lost two late goals and were eliminated in cruel fashion.
Coach Andy Kirk had been hopeful of progressing into the fourth round. However, Hearts were left disappointed by Waterford’s two late strikes.
Alan Reynolds’ team took the lead on 26 minutes against a Hearts Under-21 side containing Harry Cochrane, Aidan Keena, Connor Smith and Callumn Morrison.
Karolis Chvedukas headed Cory Galvin’s cross into the net to give Waterford control of the tie, and they remained in front at the break.
Striker Aidan Keena struck a post for Hearts early in the second half. Their equaliser came on 72 minutes when Morrison’s cross was converted by Leon Watson at the back post.
Just as Hearts might have dreamed of a winner, Waterford replied. They restored their advantage through Alex Phelan on 79 minutes and killed the tie completely four minutes later when Hearts defender Chris Hamilton inadvertently deflected a cross into his own net.