HIBS could retain the William Hill Scottish Cup this season but they will have to go some to re-create the wild scenes of celebration which marked their historic victory 12 months back. The pitch invasion which marked David Gray’s last-minute headed winner against Rangers was just the start of it – and when Martin Boyle admits he “milked it” a little in the days which followed he obviously means that in the same sense that Pompey went slightly overboard when he marked his third triumph by marching into Rome by elephant for a two-day public holiday and festival.
In the case of Hibs it was all back to John McGinn’s, where the inebriated scene included at least 11 of the squad wrestling on the ground. And forget about the old cliche about never having to buy a drink in the town again, when Boyle was out and about with his girlfriend in Leith, he found Hibs fans offering to pick up the tab for their entire meal. No wonder he jokes that the celebrations will be “crap” if they can follow up on their first Scottish Cup win in 114 years by making it two in two.
“I think everyone gave it a good go last year, myself included,” said Boyle. “It was a memorable time and I think we milked it a wee bit. There were a few parties that went on for days. Fans were taking days off work. It was carnage. I knew it was huge for the club, it was always spoken about. But to actually do it and see the thousands that turned up on the Sunday was crazy.
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“I try not to let people do that [buy me drinks], I normally bat it off,” he added. “But they do offer if I ever go out. I go out with my girlfriend and you even get people trying to buy us meals and stuff. So I don’t know how Dave [Gray] feels, he must get it all the time. It is quite surreal but it makes you feel good and it helps other people enjoy the moment.
“McGinn’s house was a riot. I think there were 11 boys on his living room floor – it was carnage. I don’t think boys went home to their missus’ or anything like that. I think mine is still wondering where I got to. I was one of the ones on the floor. I got bullied! It was great to say we have done it. And to do it again would be absolutely unbelievable.
“What would celebrations be like if we did it again this year? Crap! No, it would probably be equally as good. We’d probably just do it all again, which would be brilliant. But we have a tough task on Saturday. Aberdeen have a really good manager and a really good set of players. It should be a cracker.
“We have, potentially, a double so the celebrations can wait until the end of the season,” said the 23-year-old, also a Championship winner with Dundee. “We are going back to Hampden and we really want to retain the trophy. This week has been about knuckling down, training hard and preparing.”
Along with former Don Fraser Fyvie, and midfielder Andrew Shinnie, whose brother Graeme plays for the Pittodrie side, Boyle is one of a multitude of Aberdeen connections in the Hibs squad. While he never played a first-team match for them, he is a boyhood supporter of the Pittodrie club who spent some time as a teenager training with youth products like Fyvie and Ryan Jack during Craig Brown’s time as manager.
“Their fans are dying to get their hands on a Scottish Cup,” he added. “I was actually at the League Cup final at Celtic Park when they won that. Their fans come out in their numbers every week for them. I’m sure they would love to do what we did last year. But it’s up to us to stop that. All my pals will be in the Aberdeen end. I’ve got my fiancee on my side.
“And my dad’s a Hearts fan so he doesn’t care.”