On this day in 1895: Hearts and Hibs play out 7-goal thriller in first Edinburgh derby league encounter

First league encounter took place on this day in 1895

By Patrick McPartlin
Monday, 28th September 2020, 6:46 pm
Both Hearts and Hibs (inset) had enjoyed successul 1894/95 seasons before they met for the first time on league duty in on September 28 1895
Both Hearts and Hibs (inset) had enjoyed successul 1894/95 seasons before they met for the first time on league duty in on September 28 1895

The first league meeting between Hearts and Hibs was played on this day in 1895, after a handful of earlier, unofficial meetings.

Hibs had joined the league in 1893/94, gaining promotion to the First Division in 1895, and headed to Tynecastle on September 28 for the first of many hotly-contested derby matches.

There is also a good chance that this was the first encounter in which both clubs wore their iconic colours, having had brief flirtations with alternative kits during their formative years.

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An estimated crowd of 16,000 – 17,500 was in attendance to witness a seven-goal thriller as Hearts led twice.

Alex King opened the scoring for Hearts, with Davie Baird doubling their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Hibs’ inside-right Jack Kennedy reduced the deficit but George Hogg restored the two-goal lead as he netted Hearts' third.

Kennedy struck his second and third goals to claim his hat-trick and it looked like the match would end all square. Baird had other ideas and found the net with his second of the afternoon to secure a 4-3 victory for the hosts and be dubbed “hero of the game” in the Evening News match report.

The report stated: “It was a tug-of-war with a vengeance, and even after the Hearts scored the issue was in doubt, in fact the two minutes the Hibernians say the referee shortened the game by might easily have drawn the match.

“The crowd was probably a record for Edinburgh, and £150 might be taken from gate and stand drawings.

"And the Hearts are said to have once voted against the inclusion of the Hibernians. A better behaved crowd never looked on at a football match, and better behaved players never took part in one.

"There was an occasional trip, but there was no roughness to speak of, and there was an entire absence of foul play. Altogether the teams and their supporters are to be commended on a display which proved, if proof was needed, that professionalism and good manners can go, and do go, hand in hand.”

Hearts: Fairbairn; McMillan and Mirk; Begbie, Hogg, Russell; McLaren, Baird, Michael, King, Walker.

Hibs: McCall; Robertson and McFarlane; Neill, Breslin, Murphy; Murray, Kennedy, White, Smith, Howie.

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