Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Sunday dawned with sunshine over Leith and I was up to see it. The adrenalin was pumping and sleep was impossible.
There was a large contingent of Hibs supporters in our party. Paddy Kanka Paul, Hibbie Kanka Athole, Red Card Hooligan Kanka (previously known as Mini Hibbie Kanka !!), No Card Kanka Ciaran, Gorgeous Kankie Rachel, Hibbie Kanka's brother Neil, No Card Kanka's pal Jake and yours truly.
We headed off to Hampden Park in Glasgow at about midday and approaching Glasgow we were welcomed by driving snow and sleet. We made it into the stadium which was full to capacity with 50,100 present.
The pre-match entertainment completed, the players came out to a tremendous welcome, especially from the Hibs supporters who were about 2/3 in the majority. The match then kicked off with the snow stilling pissing down in the gusting wind.
The driving snow didn't seem to affect the players and for the first 30 minutes it was all end to end stuff with chances for both team to take the lead. It was quite clear at this stage that both managers tactics were to attack. The Kilmarnock striker Naismith had 2 good chances and young Lewis Stevenson (Man of the Match) also went close.
Then on the half hour mark came the opening goal (always vital in Cup Finals in my opinion). A corner was swung in from the left by David Murphy to the back post and there was Captain Rob Jones thundering in to outjump everyone and power a header into the goal with goalkeeper Combe rooted to the line. The breakthrough !
It was still end to end until half time with Nish and Wright going close for Kilmarnock and Whittaker and Fletcher going close for Hibs.
Into the 2nd half and what a transformation. Hibs came out all fired up and took the match by the scruff of the neck. It was all Hibs now and it only took 15 minutes to go 2 up. A great pass from Steven Whittaker to Benji saw him turn defender Greer inside out before curling home a fine left foot strike with Combe helpless.
Hibs were rampant now with Scott Brown almost scoring from a Murphy cut back. However, he made amends a few minutes later when he sent Steven Fletcher clear who finished with a crisp left foot shot from just inside the penalty box. 3-0 now and motoring !
Perhaps it was over confidence or taking a breather, but Kilmarnock silenced the Hibs supporters with a goal on the 75th minute when Greer headed in after some sloppy defending by Hibs for the 1st and only time in the match.
That was to be the last cheer from the Kilmarnock end ! 10 minutes later Fletcher sent Benji clear for his 2nd goal of the match.
2 minutes later with the Kilmarnock end emptying fast, and a horror show from Combe with a clearance against the incoming Fletcher who was left with an open goal to make it 5. Not a happy day for Alan Combe but in fairness he was left exposed on numerous occasions by his defenders.
So, it was Rob Jones who collected the Scottish League Cup with the Hibs support in full voice. The lap of honour was conducted to a background of Proclaimers songs, and of course, the famous Sunshine Over Leith song. I noticed a few eyes with emotional tears around me !
Well done Hibs. A well deserved victory and a great team performance.
Back to league business in 2 weeks and the semi final of the Scottish FA Cup in mid April.
All the best from Eski Kanka in Edinburgh