What Scotland's national press had to say about Hibs' stunning semi-final victory over Rangers

Hibs are into the final of the Premier Sports cup having defeated Rangers 3-1 in a famous semi-final win at Hampden Park.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:38 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:39 pm
Hibs fans celebrate during the Premier Sports Cup victory over Rangers. Picture: SNS

Martin Boyle was the stand-out on the day, scoring a first-half hat-trick which put his side on course for a stunning upset, though there were no failures in the capital side’s dressing room.

The performance was particularly impressive as the Easter Road club hadn’t played in 24 days due to a combination of a Covid-19 outbreak and the last international break.

In the aftermath of the victory, we looked at what Scotland’s national writers had to say about the triumphant men in green and white.

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Mark Wilson wrote for the Daily Mail: “Hibs didn’t look back from Boyle’s ninth minute opener that capitalised on the first instalment of Rangers’ fragility. A superb finish and a perfect penalty quickly followed.

“In the space of 29 minutes, Boyle secured a match ball worth putting in a display case and set up a Premier Sports Cup final meeting with Celtic on December 19. He will never forget this day.

“It was all the more impressive considering what preceded it. Hibs had suffered four successive losses before a Covid-enforced lay-off. Without a game for three and a half weeks, questions were asked about their readiness. All were answered positively. They didn’t have a failure in their ranks.”

Bill Leckie, writing for Scottish Sun, put the Hibs victory into historical context: “Fifty years and one month ago, thousands of Gers fans had raced across Glasgow for a gloat after news filtered through that Partick Thistle were 4-0 up on Celtic with just 38 minutes of the League Cup final gone.

“On Sunday just as many were streaming for the exits at precisely the same time with their heroes 3-0 down and floundering.

“I can’t think of as comprehensive a hounding for one of the Old Firm at the national stadium in this tournament since the Jags burst a million coupons. In that first half hour or so, the pace, dynamism and desire that flowed out of Jack Ross’s men like snot into a hanky was absolutely unplayable.”

The BBC’s Neil McPheat reminded his readers of the pressure Hibs and Jack Ross were under: “Questions have been asked of Ross in big games after a three defeats at the national stadium last term - one to Hearts in the delayed 2019-20 Scottish Cup semi-final and two to St Johnstone in the League Cup last four and Scottish Cup final.”

Ross was clearly determined to banish the accusation of a ‘big game’ failure, as Graeme Young wrote in the Daily Record: “The Hibs boss was a man possessed from the moment he stepped off the bus - a steely glare from a manager who had waited a month to lead his team out in the wake of their Covid call-offs.

"Seriously, Ross was prowling the touchline from the first whistle and aimed a massive fist pump towards the main stand after Martin Boyle's opener. He sensed the importance of striking first.

“His focus was replicated by every one of his players who delivered a masterclass in efficiency, as their talisman bagged a hat-trick and their defenders, outwith Ryan Porteous' one error, repelled Rangers at every turn.”

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