Hearts beat Hibs 2-1 at Easter Road this evening to make it back-to-back East of Scotland Shield wins.
The game sparked to life in the second half after a goalless opening period. Euan Henderson fired the Wee Jambos in front in the 55th minute before Anthony McDonald doubled their lead 20 minutes later. Jamie Gullan pulled one back from the spot but Hearts held out to retain the East of Scotland Shield.
The first-half saw little in the way of any goalmouth action. Andy Irving pounced on a loose pass inside the Hibs box after only one minute, but he could only run the ball behind and out of play when trying to round his marker.
At the other end Ryan Porteous connected with a corner from the left, only to head straight into the arms of Mason.
Hibs had another headed half chance moments later when Scott Walker crept in at the back post but, under pressure from Chrissy Hamilton, failed to hit the target.
Captain Alex Petkov dragged a long-range effort wide before Hibs’ Alasdair Smith floated a shot from distance over the crossbar. From the resulting goal kick, Kyle Smith’s short passback had Mason scrambling before the danger was eventually cleared.
Callumn Morrison had a brace of efforts as the half went on but neither troubled Patrick Martin in the Hibs goal.
The Wee Jambos then enjoyed a sustained period of pressure, camped inside the Hibs half but with no joy in the final third, referee George Calder brought proceedings to a close.
Hibs started the second half with a bang, rattling the crossbar. Fraser Murray drifted inside before hitting one from outside the box, only to be denied by the woodwork.
55 minutes in and Hearts broke the deadlock. A close-range shot inside the box was blocked into the path of Henderson who took a touch before coolly slotting beyond Martin.
An exquisite one-two between Anthony McDonald and Marc Leonard saw the former burst free inside the Hibs box and curl an effort goalward, but he couldn’t hit the target.
The Wee Jambos thought they had put the game to bed in the 75th minute. A wonderful defence-splitting pass from Leonard saw McDonald race clean through before slamming an unstoppable effort past Martin.
Three minutes later Hibs pulled one back from the spot. Petkov was judged to have bundled over Gullan inside the box and the Hibs striker picked himself up to make no mistake from 12-yards.
Gullan showed neat skill to turn deep inside the Hearts half but blasted wildly over 25-yards as the game neared its conclusion.
The Wee Jambos held out though to win the East of Scotland Shield for the second year in a row.
Photo courtesy of Ron MacNeill
Hibs: Martin, Donaldson, Hall, O’Conner, Porteous, A. Smith, Walker, Campbell, Gullan, Murray, Gallantes (Shanley, 74’). Subs: Cargill, Yates, Cornelius.
Hearts: Mason, Morrison, K.Smith, Hamilton, Reid, McDonald, Petkov, Gillan, Henderson, Irving, Leonard (Ritchie, 90’). Subs: Cochrane, Young, Wilson, O'Donnell, C.Smith, Makovora.
Referee: George Calder