Hibs gave one of their finest and most entrancing displays in front of 25,000 at Easter Road in trouncing Motherwell 6-1.
The first-half exhibition by Hibs was equalled that season only by their first-half display against Hearts in the New Year match, but then their finishing did not bring such rich rewards as this.
Motherwell were usually expected to provide at least something of the finer touches of football, but seldom can they have fallen so low as the Hibs cast them down.
Apart from an early miss by Archie Kelly, and Jimmy Watson’s goal following a goal-mouth mix-up, the visitors were seldom in the hunt, the home team monopolising play to an extraordinary extent. The Hibs forwards, receiving a copious supply of excellent passes from the wing halves, were in real championship form, and had their second-half finishing brought results comparable with that of the first half, they would have scored goals galore.
The match, however, will probably be remembered by most for the goal which Willie Ormond scored.
The left winger, running in from the touchline at full speed, hit a left-foot shot of such terrible force that Hamilton could not have seen the ball until it had struck the iron support inside the goal, and rebounded far upfield.
Altogether Ormond had probably his best match of the season. But it was also a great game for Gordon Smith on the other wing. Playing in what seemed a lackadaisical style, he was nevertheless admirably effective, and revealed turns of surprising speed to complete the Motherwell defence’s inglorious afternoon.
Smith scored the first goal with a fine shot which hit the bar as it went into goal at the corner, and then Eddie Turnbull scored with one of the shots for which he is noted. Watson’s counter followed that, and then came Ormond’s superb effort. Before the interval Smith added two more to complete his hat-trick. His second one was a clever piece of work but his third, Hamilton should have held. That was the keeper’s only error of the game.
Willie Redpath twisted his knee and eventually left the field, but before that Motherwell were well beaten and chief interest of the second half for the crowd lay in whether or not Lawrie Reilly and Bobby Johnstone were going to get a goal. Johnstone had several good tries, but he met with no success. Reilly, who had spent an afternoon in valiant jousting with Andy Paton, at last got his reward seven minutes from the end when he beat Hamilton from an acute angle.
With Hibs reaching the zenith of their form, it was almost axiomatic that Motherwell should have touched their nadir. They could not have played more dissapointingly.
Hibs: Younger, Govan, Cairns, Combe, Paterson, Buchanan, Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull, Ormond.