HIBS defender Paul Hanlon admitted the hardest part of their William Hill Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic was once again failing to end the Easter Road fans’ long wait for glory in the competition.
Gary Hooper’s first-half double and Joe Ledley’s late strike earned Celtic a 3-0 win and consigned Hibs to their tenth Scottish Cup final defeat since they last won the trophy in 1902.
The vast majority of Hibs fans stayed until the final whistle – unlike during last season’s 5-1 Hampden thrashing by Hearts – and they loudly voiced their support in the final stages of the game.
Hanlon said: “They have been great all year for us. Obviously they are as disappointed as we are with the result but to react the way they did just shows what good fans they are.
“They were there right to the end in full voice and at the end they were the only ones you could hear. All credit to them for sticking right by us to the end and we are gutted we never managed to bring the cup home for them.”
Hooper opened the scoring from close range in the eighth minute after Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster had stopped Eoin Doyle’s header moments earlier.
Hanlon said: “We started really, really well, on the front foot. We caused them a couple of problems and lost two goals which was so disappointing.
“We thought we were more in the game than that and wanted to have a real go in the second half, but they are a quality side and we couldn’t break them down, and obviously they got the third goal.”