Midfielder Dylan McGeouch believes Saturday’s historic victory will go down as one of those moments where people will look back and ask ‘where were you when Hibs won the Scottish Cup?’.
David Gray’s 92nd-minute winner sealed a spectacular 3-2 triumph over Rangers at Hampden that finally brought to an end the Easter Road side’s 114-year pursuit of the coveted trophy.
McGeouch admits he is still coming to terms with what he and his team-mates have achieved and says the magnitude of their feat will take some time to sink in.
However, he is beginning to put the pieces together from a weekend he says he will cherish for the rest of his life.
The former Celtic midfielder was able to take his place in Alan Stubbs’ starting XI despite limping off during the first half of the play-off defeat by Falkirk eight days earlier.
And now the 23-year-old, who missed Hibs’ League Cup final defeat by Ross County in March due to a recurring groin problem, was only too glad he was able to contribute to a moment where so many Hibs teams of the past have tried but come up short.
“I think this will be one of those moments when everyone asks where were you when Hibs won the Scottish Cup. I saw grown men crying their eyes out on the pitch at the end so it’s incredible to think that we can make them just lose their emotions,” McGeouch told the Evening News.
“It was every emotion you can describe. It just means so much to everyone at Hibs and it’s great to be a part of it. I’m sure we’ll be remembered for years to come.
“I did everything all week to just try to be available. I spoke to the gaffer on Saturday morning, he asked how I was feeling and obviously I wasn’t 100 per cent but I gave it my all. I’m not forgetting it’s not been the best season for myself with all the injuries and niggles I’ve had. You want to be involved in the big games and especially after last week having to come off, I managed to get myself fit and available and be part of the starting XI that has won the club the cup.”
McGeouch says he never doubted his own nor his team-mate’s resilience despite seeing Anthony Stokes’ third-minute opener wiped out by goals from Kenny Miller and Andy Halliday. But, after Stokes’ second of the match had levelled things up with little more than ten minutes remaining, McGeouch was adamant there only ever looked like being one winner.
“We never gave up. Once we got the equaliser I always felt we were the team that looked the most likely to go and find a winner,” he said. “We were passing the ball well, we got people up the park to support and we weren’t prepared to settle for extra time. I was on my last legs to be honest but I continued to give everything I had.
“We know the main goal at the start of the season was to get promotion but the next best thing was to go and lift a cup. I think after last week’s disappointment at Falkirk, the main thing for everyone involved at the club was to go and be that team that finally does it. It’s a great feeling. It really has been an incredible season. We missed out in the last minute in the League Cup final and that was the same against Falkirk. We didn’t want to be the team that had got so close but hadn’t managed to win anything.”
With European football to look forward to next season, McGeouch says he is determined to bring those special European nights back to Easter Road after a somewhat limited taste of European football during his time with Celtic.
“I was always in the squad but didn’t play much,” he explained. “I have some great memories from those nights but it will be good to have them with this team. The main objective was to win the cup but to qualify for Europe is a huge bonus. We’ll really enjoy it when it comes and I’m sure the fans will as well with the away trips.”