A goal in added time of extra time was cruel end to Rangers Youth Cup reign, but an ecstatic climax to to Hibs Youngsters season. Rangers had Danny Wilson, Ross Perry, Kyle Hutton and Kane Hemmings back in the starting eleven for tonight's final at Hampden.
Hibs were first to threaten on 9 minutes when Kurtis Byrne and David Wotherspoon combined to set up a chance for Patrick Deane but Gregg Wylde made a great block to clear the danger. Four minutes later Deane came to the rescue for Hibs at the other end when a Stephen Stirling corner broke to Danny Wilson inside the box Deane's last ditch challenge denied the Rangers captain.
Hibs then had a scare on the half hour mark when Kal Naismith's corner on the right was flicked on by Archie Campbell and keeper Thomas Flynn missed his punch but gathered at the second attempt. Three minutes later Hibs took the lead, Wotherspoon found himself in space down the right and his cross was fired past Grant Adam by Kurtis Byrne.
Rangers replied when Stephen Stirling played the ball through to Kane Hemmings who shot wide of the far post. The final opportunity of the first half fell to Hibs with a few minutes remaining when Byrne collected Callum Booth's throw and his powerful shot was straight at Adam.
Half Time :- Rangers 0 Hibs 1
Rangers made a great start to the second half equalising within three minutes. A long clearance by Adam was flicked on by Hemmings to Archie Campbell who held off the Hibs defenders to shoot past Flynn. Five minutes later Flynn had to look sharp to head clear outside his penalty area to deny Hemmings.
At the other end an Oliver Russell pass gave Byrne the chance to shoot and he brought out a fine save from Adam, tipping the ball over for a corner. On 70 minutes Rangers suffered a blow when keeper Adam came to collect a high ball and collied with the Hibs forward, he was stretchered from the field and replaced by Arturs Vailculis.
With six minutes remaining Hibs missed an excellent chance. A crossfield pass from Kyle Hutton was intercepted by Scott Taggart who sent Byrne down to the byline, his cross had Vailculis in trouble and when he failed to gather Fergus Bell could only knock the ball wide at the far post.
At the other end a Darren Cole long throw was flicked on by Jamie Ness to be headed narrowly over by substitute Isa Bagci. Then in the final minute Hibs missed another excellent chance when Wotherspoon failed to connect with a Byrne cross with the goal at his mercy.
End Of 90 Minutes:- Rangers 1 Hibs 1
The first half of extra time was pretty uneventful, with both team tiring there was half chances at both ends. The second half was following a similar pattern till the 118th minute when Booth advance down the left and his cross looked like being forced home but the Rangers defence scrambled clear.
With the 120 minutes up and penalties looking likely Isa Bagci lost possession at the halfway line, the ball was played into the box and broke to Kurtis Byrne, his shot bounced into the turf and spun over the stranded Vailculis to clinch a youth double for the Hibs youngsters.
Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Hibs 2
Rangers :- Grant Adam (Arturs Vailculis 70mins); Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith (Isa Bagci 85mins); Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Gordon Dick 65mins).
Not Used:- Scott Durie, Dylan McGeough.
Hibs:- Thomas Flynn; Ally Park, Ewan Moyes (Matthew Welch 110mins), Scott Smith, Calum Booth; Fergus Bell (Darren Kelly 88 mins), Oliver Russell, David Wotherspoon, Lee Currie, Kurtis Byrne; Patrick Deane (Scott Taggart).
Not Used:- Lewis Graham, Keith Murray