Fenlon feels Hibs are hitting form

Fenlon feels Hibs are hitting form

Finally Hibernian can turn their attention to the William Hill Scottish Cup final after securing Clydesdale Bank Premier League survival at the expense of Dunfermline.

The Pars returned to the Irn-Bru First Division after one season in the top flight after Hibs took an unassailable eight-point lead at the foot of the standings with a 4-0 win at Easter Road last night.

Matt Doherty, Eoin Doyle and a Garry O’Connor penalty saw Hibs take a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes before Paul Hanlon was awarded a late fourth despite replays showing the ball did not cross the line.

Hibs, who last won the Scottish Cup in 1902, can now focus on the May 19 Hampden final with Hearts, a side they have not beaten in 10 attempts.

Manager Pat Fenlon said: “It’s a good time to be hitting a bit of form.

“We’ll work in the next two weeks in relation to how we’re going to play and set-up against Hearts.

“We need to turn the tide a little bit with them. There would be no better way to start.”

Fenlon replaced Colin Calderwood as boss in November, assigned the task of SPL survival, and was uncomfortable with the party atmosphere.

“It’s a massive relief,” Fenlon added. “It’s more a relief than anything else, not a celebration.

“It’s a bit embarrassing. We’re second last in the league.

“I think it was more us showing our appreciation to the supporters than the other way round.”

The Pars had to win to take the duel to avoid the drop to the final day, but a point was enough for second bottom Hibs.

In the end Dunfermline disappeared with barely a whimper and manager Jim Jefferies lamented familiar defensive failings.

The former Hearts boss said: “It was our last chance to take it to the last game and we threw it all away in 15 minutes.

“It has been the problem all season and each one got worse.

“When players make mistakes like that, you know why you’re relegated.”

Jefferies, who succeeded Jim McIntyre in March on an 18-month contract, will now be tasked with masterminding an immediate return.

Jefferies has around a dozen players under contract for next term and will now sit down with the board to discuss next season’s budget.

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