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Heart of Midlothian won the 2012 William Hill Scottish Cup in sensational style as the Jambos crushed city rivals Hibernian 5-1 at Hampden Park on Saturday.
 
Goals from Darren Barr and Rudi Skacel saw Paulo Sergio's side race into a 2-0 lead before James McPake pulled one back for Hibs just before the interval. It proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal for Pat Fenlon's side, though, as a Danny Grainger penalty, a Ryan McGowan header and a second strike from Skacel sealed a magnificent victory for Hearts in the first all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final since 1896.

 

The atmosphere inside Hampden was electric and the noise reached a crescendo as Hearts and Hibs took to the field to begin their historic meeting. The opening minutes were typically frenetic and there was little in the way of action, the only real talking point in the first ten minutes coming when a robust challenge from Ian Black on Leigh Griffiths was, perhaps, slightly fortunate to escape a yellow card with referee Craig Thomson deciding that a stern word would suffice.

Hearts soon created the first chance when Andy Driver skipped clear of Matt Doherty before whipping over a dangerous cross, which was met by Rudi Skacel but the Czech talisman was unable to guide his header towards the target. 
 
Driver was posing plenty of problems for Doherty in the opening exchanges and the winger won a corner for the Jambos with 13 minutes on the clock. From the resultant corner, Hearts took the lead.
 
Danny Grainger swung the ball over and Andy Webster nodded the ball into the path of Ryan McGowan. The Australian swung at the ball, kicking fresh air, but he was afforded a second bite of the cherry and he bundled the ball into the path of Darren Barr who prodded home from close range to send the maroon half of Hampden into raptures.
 
It was Barr's first goal for over two years but the former Falkirk defender could barely have picked a better moment to bag his first goal of the campaign for Paulo Sergio's men. 
 
Hibs looked for an immediate response and Jamie MacDonald had to look lively to tip away Tom Soares' teasing free-kick with Leigh Griffiths lurking with intent at the back post.
 
It was the Jambos, though, who were enjoying the bulk of possession and Pa Kujabi was shown a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Suso Santana. Danny Grainger floated the ball into the box and Hibs were again found wanting. The ball broke to Andy Webster and the big defender, who had already netted twice against the Easter Road outfit this term, was unfortunate to see his deflected shot loop into Mark Brown's arms.
 
Hibs spurned a decent opportunity to equalise when James McPake rose to steer a Leigh Griffiths free-kick across goal but Garry O'Connor was unable to provide the crucial touch, the striker instead opting to throw himself to the turf in search of a penalty despite the absolute minimum of contact from Danny Grainger.
 
The Hibs striker would soon regret that wasted opportunity as, before the game had even reached the half-hour mark, Hearts doubled their advantage in fine style.
 
Isaiah Osbourne's slack play was seized upon by Danny Grainger who laid the ball into the path of Ian Black. Black exchanged passes with Andy Driver before slipping the ball into the path of the unmarked Rudi Skacel. McPake stood off the Hearts man and Skacel needed no second invitation, firing the ball into the far corner of Mark Brown's net, the ball taking a slight deflection of the boot of McPake before spinning into the net.
 
Once again, the Hearts fans celebrated wildly as they felt that Scottish Cup victory over their bitter rivals was now within touching distance.
 
Much had been said in the pre-match build-up about the threat posed by Garry O'Connor but the big striker could only balloon the ball over the bar from eight yards when Kujabi's cross found the striker in space as Hibs wasted a rare foray into Hearts territory.
 
The Jambos were in complete control at this stage. Hibs were wounded and Suso Santana almost put the Hibees out of their misery inside 35 minutes when he connected with Andy Driver's cross but, somehow, James McPake came from nowhere to clear the ball from his own goal line.
 
Had Suso's effort gone in, it would have ended the match as a contest but, out of nothing, Hibs pulled a goal back with McPake the hero for Hibs at the other end of the park on this occasion. 
 
Leigh Griffiths' acrobatic effort was blocked by Danny Grainger, the ball spinning out for a corner. Tom Soares' dreadful deliver was swept clear by Ian Black but Stevenson fed the ball back to Soares and, with the Hearts defence caught napping, his low cross was knocked home at close range by James McPake. 
 
The goal, though, did not spare Jorge Claros, the Honduran's error-strewn display brought to an end by Pat Fenlon as the Hibs boss threw on Ivan Sproule as the Hibees sought to draw level. It was a nervy five minutes for the Jambos but they saw the half out comfortably, although Paulo Sergio's men must have felt that they had missed an opportunity to put the match to bed before Craig Thomson brought the first half to a close.
 
Any nerves in the Hearts camp were soon dispersed, however, as the Jambos started the second half in breathtaking fashion. 
 
Suso Santana latched onto Jamie MacDonald's long kick in the opening seconds of the half. Suso speeded away from Lewis Stevenson and the hapless Kujabi and, as Suso cut in towards the box, Kujabi grabbed Suso's shirt and the Gambian's left foot connected with the Spanish winger's foot, sending the Spaniard sprawling. The contact appeared to take place outside the area but, after consulting with his linesman, referee Craig Thomson pointed to the spot.
 
While the Hibees might have been unhappy with the penalty award, there is no doubt that Kujabi deserved a second yellow card for pulling Suso's shirt and the full-back was duly sent packing by Thomson.
 
Hearts may not have enjoyed a tremendous success rate from the penalty spot this year but that appeared to make little difference to Danny Grainger. The full-back placed the ball on the spot before coolly sending Brown the wrong way to restore Hearts' two goal advantage.
 
The Hearts fans in the stadium had barely had time to celebrate Grainger's strike when Hearts ensured that the Scottish Cup would be coming home to Tynecastle by adding a fourth.
 
Andy Driver was enjoying one of his finest afternoons in a Hearts jersey in years and the winger forced another corner from Doherty, who had been run ragged by the Englishman.
 
Grainger knocked his corner into the path of Rudi Skacel, who drove the ball towards goal. It was flicked on by Stephen Elliott and Mark Brown did well to keep the Irishman's effort out. Brown, though, only succeeded in diverting the ball into the path of Ryan McGowan who gleefully forced the ball over the line from a yard.
 
As McGowan galloped off to celebrate the goal in his trademark style, the Hibs fans made their way to the exits. The Hibees, who had believed so strongly that Scottish Cup Final success was, at long last, to be their destiny now knew that it was to be another year of misery and hurt for them.
 
The Hearts fans, in sharp contrast, were revelling in the joy of knowing that, with 40 minutes still to play, victory was now assured and the chants of "Since 1902" that rang out signified that the Jambo faithful wanted their Hibernian counterparts to know that their embarrassing Scottish Cup record would continue.
 
Hearts were in dreamland now but things almost got even better when Marius Zaliukas got away from his marker to thump an Ian Black corner just off target after good link-up play between McGowan and Suso exposed Hibs' defensive fragility once again.
 
Garry O'Connor's miserable afternoon was brought to an end when he was replaced with Eoin Doyle but the Jambos looked as if they wanted to inflict even more pain on their rivals and they might have added a fifth had Skacel's cutback found a Hearts player after the midfielder had burst into the Hibs box following an incisive pass from Grainger.
 
Paulo Sergio's men, though, contented themselves with toying with their vastly inferior opponents. The Jambos knocked the ball about at will, cheers from the jubilant Hearts support greeting every single pass as the men in maroon completely dominated possession. Hibs, frankly, looked to have accepted defeat and it was a damage limitation exercise now for Fenlon's flops.
 
The damage, though, was not done just yet and with 15 minutes to go, Rudi Skacel added a fifth goal.
 
Suso and Skacel played a neat one-two before Skacel stepped away from his marker and arrowed a shot through the legs of Hibs captain McPake, the ball glancing off the inside of the post before nestling into the back of the net behind the stranded Mark Brown.
 
The Hibs fans were leaving in their droves now and, as they made their way to the exits, they would have noted that Craig Beattie would soon be introduced to the game by Paulo Sergio, the big striker replacing Suso Santana.
 
Beattie and Skacel soon combined to great effect, teeing the ball up for Stephen Elliott who was desperately unlucky to see a delicious curling effort skimming the roof of Mark Brown's net rather than hit the back of it.
 
Hearts were running down the clock now and even the fans in the stands just wanted the final whistle so that the party could really begin. Paulo Sergio opted to give Mehdi Taouil and Scott Robinson the final few minutes as they replaced Andy Driver and Ian Black respectively with Black, who was playing his final game for the club, receiving a particularly warm ovation from the Hearts fans, who sang his name for the final time.
 
In the build up to the match, Hibs boss Pat Fenlon must have dreamed of hearing his name sung in the final minute but Fenlon would have hoped it would be the Hibs fans rather than the Hearts fans who, rather sarcastically, chanted "there's only one Pat Fenlon" as the match neared an end. It proved to be too much for Fenlon who was sent to the stand by referee Thomson for an unsavoury gesture.
 
Soon after, Thomson spared Hibs the indignity of added time and he blew his full-time whistle. It signalled not just the end of the match but a historic victory for Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Hearts had thumped their biggest rivals in the biggest match that their great rivalry had ever seen. Hearts had forever secured bragging rights for their fans with victory in the most incredible fashion. 
 
The players celebrated on the pitch and the fans savoured the moment in the stands before Marius Zaliukas led his team up the steps to collect the trophy. There was an almighty roar when Zaliukas held the trophy aloft and each player took his turn to brandish the trophy in the direction of the fans before, finally, Paulo Sergio held the trophy in the air.
 
It marked the end of yet another extraordinary season for Hearts but, having ended the season in such a special manner, the celebrations will go on long into the summer for the players, officials and, of course, fans.

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