Twice as many wins in last 10 years - but are Hibs a better cup team than Hearts?

As Hearts and Hibs enter the fourth round of the Scottish Cup this weekend, Joel Sked looks back at the last 10 years to see how the Capital clubs have fared.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 12:55 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 13:03 pm

Since 2009 Hearts and Hibs have both tasted success in the Scottish Cup, recording results in the final of the competition that will go down as perhaps their greatest ever moments.

Hearts 5-1 victory over Hibs in the 2012 final will never be forgotten in Gorgie and fans of the Tynecastle side will make sure it is not forgotten in Leith. Meanwhile, the Easter Road side finally ended their Scottish Cup hex in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win over Rangers. It gave a whole new meaning to jubilant celebrations.

Yet, at the same time, there have been a fair share of lows, especially when the sides have met each other - the pair have faced off eight times since 2009.

Hearts and Hibs have had interesting times in the Scottish Cup. Picture: SNS/Craig Watson

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Here, we analyse just how well each side has done in the Scottish Cup during the last decade, the times they have met each other, the final appearances and the strength of the opposition.

Hearts

To say Hearts fans have been underwhelmed with the Scottish Cup since 2012 is an understatement. However, ask any supporter of the team and they would have taken many years of underachievement in the competition as long as it meant they defeated Hibs in the showdown at Hampden Park seven years ago.

Either side of that success it has been slim pickings. A 2-0 win at Easter Road in 2009, Christian Nade and Gary Glen the goalscorers, and a 1-0 success over the same opponents at Tynecastle last season have been the high points, not to forget the semi-final victory over Celtic to reach the 2012 final.

The lows have been more frequent. The 2-0 win over Hibs in 2009 was followed by an infuriating day at Tynecastle, Falkirk winning 1-0 with Marius Zaliukas red carded.

From frustrating to embarrassing, Hearts exited the cup in consecutive years to Celtic, conceding 11 goals and not finding the back of the net. To rub salt into the wounds the 7-0 and 4-0 defeats arrived at Tynecastle, albeit the latter saw Hearts, then in the Championship, play 82 minutes with ten men.

For many Hearts fans, the worst moment came three years ago. The Jambos were winning 2-0 against Hibs at Tynecastle only two lose the lead late on. The subsequent replay was lost and Hibs went on to win the cup.

A bugbear for fans has been the cup draws themselves. In the last ten years Hearts have played 19 cup ties, plus five replays. Of those 19, 15 have come against top-flight opponent. Lower league opposition came in the shape of Auchinleck Talbot, Raith Rovers and Hibs (twice).

Ties: 19 (24 games including replays)

Wins: 10 (two after extra-time)

Cup final appearances: 1

Semi-final appearances: 1

Wins over Hibs: 3

Top-flight opposition: 15

Second tier: 3

Junior: 1

Hibs

For more than a century the Scottish Cup wasn’t Hibs’ friend. The Easter Road side appeared to stumble upon new and amusing ways to exit the competition. When the door opened for them they seemed intent on shutting it in their own face.

The nadir came in 2012. For Hibs fans that’s all that is required to be said.

A year later they trailed Falkirk 3-0 in the semi-final at half-time. At that moment, scores of Hibs fans gave up on seeing their team win the trophy. They then summoned the energy and courage to come back and win 4-3 in extra-time to remarkably set up a final with Celtic.

A meek 3-0 defeat seemed par for the course. Hibs fans were numb to the pain of traipsing out of Hampden Park disconsolate.

Between 2009 and that final in 2013 Hibs had lost at home to Hearts and failed to score over two games against third tier Ayr United as they exited the cup in 2011.

Following the Celtic defeat further embarrassment would arrive. A 3-2 defeat to Raith Rovers at Easter Road was hard to take. But it paled in comparison to losing the 2015 semi-final to Falkirk, even more so when Inverness CT defeated Celtic the following day.

However, all that went before was a test of character for the club and the fans. They possessed a fortitude which had to be admired.

They came from 2-0 down at Tyencastle against Hearts to earn a replay, which was won. It then took two cracks of Inverness CT and a penalty shootout win over Dundee United to set up an all-Championship final against Rangers.

Hibs let a 1-0 lead slip and trailed 2-1. How very typical. But then it happened. First Anthony Stokes, then Liam Henderson’s corner and David Gray’s header. The best moment following Hibs for many fans at Hampden that day or watching around the world.

So often a team would exit the next edition of the cup early on but Hibs followed up the cup win with a semi-final appearance the following year.

Ties: 31 (36 games including replays)

Wins: 22 (two after extra-time/penalties)

Cup final appearances: 3

Semi-final appearances: 5

Wins over Hearts: 3

Top-flight opposition:15

Second tier: 9

Third tier: 2

Fourth tier: 3

Junior: 2

Conclusion

Both sides have achieved momentous victories in the Scottish Cup in the last ten years, while claiming three wins apiece in derby fixtures.

There is no doubt Hibs have been the more proactive team of the Capital duo but have sunk to lower lows. However, the fact they have reached the semi-final stage so often compared to Hearts has given them the upper hand.

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