How Martin Boyle shook off jetlag to break duck against Rangers as Hibs winger looks ahead to Ross County test
Martin Boyle doesn’t yet know what he will do with the match ball he earned after his first-half hat-trick sent Hibs into the Premier Sports Cup final at the expense of Rangers. He’s just glad to have beaten jetlag and broken his duck against the Ibrox side.
The winger, who was recently on international duty with Australia, admitted his globetrotting was beginning to catch up with him as he reflected on a stunning first 45 minutes at Hampden on Sunday afternoon.
“I have no idea what I am going to do with the ball. I’ll get it signed and then deal with that later,” he said afterwards.
“I have done a lot of travelling the last few days and everything has been catching up with me. It was a great moment for myself and we’re in a final now. The team were brilliant,” he added.
True, every player in green did perform well, but it was the talismanic 28-year-old that did the damage inside thirty explosive first-half minutes to leave the Light Blues reeling.
Boyle has scored big goals for Hibs, including a brace against Hearts in Gorgie, but Sunday’s exploits may just eclipse that in his list of stand-out moments in a Hibs shirt.
“It’s top of the pile now. I have scored at Tynecastle which was a great moment, and I have lifted the Scottish Cup, but I wasn’t on the pitch on the day,” he continued.
“Moments like this don’t come around very often in a short career, so you have to treasure them."
Boyle also had words of praise for manager Jack Ross, who has endured criticism from some sections of the support for the team’s results in big games, especially at the national stadium.
"We stick together, we believe in what the gaffer is doing here, he’s doing an unbelievable job,” he added.
Despite his form in front of goal for Hibs, especially over the last two seasons, the former Dundee attacker surprisingly hadn’t netted against the Ibrox side in any competition.
“I was saying that to the manager on Saturday and he just laughed it off and said, ‘Well, tomorrow’s the day’ so it’s strange how these things happen,” he smiled.
Boyle insists his and his team-mates’ attention is now focused on Wednesday night’s trip to Dingwall to face Ross County on Scottish Premiership duty.
"Performances have dipped in the last month and we know it hasn’t been good enough,” he admitted.
“Our past results at Hampden haven’t been acceptable and we had all summer to think about that so we wanted to get back here and rectify that.
"Rangers are a top team. We knew they were going to cause us trouble but I thought we dealt with it well, we dealt with balls in the box which was great to see.
“We managed to hang in there which was fantastic. It’s a great result against the champions of Scotland.
“The final is a fantastic opportunity for us but we need to get our league form back first. We’ll enjoy it, we’ll get back in, we’ll regroup and get ready for Ross County on Wednesday.
“A League Cup win before Christmas would be a great present.”