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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 April 2006, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Hibernian 0-4 Hearts
Paul Hartley celebrates the opening goal
Paul Hartley was man of the match at Hampden Park
Paul Hartley scored a stunning hat-trick as Hearts eased into the Scottish Cup final at the expense of Edinburgh rivals Hibernian.

Edgaras Jankauskas set up the Scotland midfielder for a cute finish.

A curling Hartley free-kick deceived Zbigniew Malkowski before Hibs' Ivan Sproule was sent off for stamping.

Jankauskas pounced on another Malkowski blunder to score the third and Hartley completed the rout from the spot after Gary Smith was dismissed.

It means Hearts will return to Hampden Park on 13 May as strong favourites to lift the cup against Second Division champions Gretna.

Hibs manager Tony Mowbray had been forced to hand new signing Abdessalam Benjelloun his debut up front against Hearts with Derek Riordan suspended and Chris Killen failing a late fitness test.

Michael Stewart was also missing from midfield, so Chris Hogg and Steven Fletcher also came into the starting line-up.

Hearts were without suspended Julien Brellier and Roman Bednar, while Takis Fyssas dropped to the bench, but Andy Webster, Bruno Aguiar and Calum Elliot returned to the side.

And Valdas Ivanauskas' team looked the more incisive from the start, Jankauskas threatening on three occasions.

Hibs created some moments of danger of their own.

Steven Whittaker forced Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon into a fine save with a long range strike and Fletcher and Caldwell both just missed the target with headers.
Edgaras Jankauskas celebrates Hearts' third goal
Edgaras Jankauskas scored Hearts' third goal

But it was Hearts who looked the more threatening and Malkowski did well to claw away a curling Hartley free-kick from beneath the crossbar.

And the opening goal came after Benjelloun was dispossessed by Skacel and the Czech picked out fellow midfielder Hartley.

The former Hibs man sent Jankauskas clear and the Lithuanian returned the ball to Hartley for a neat finish with the outside of his foot.

Hearts lost Pressley to a head knock suffered in the dying seconds of the first half, Fyssas coming on at the break.

Hartley, now with the captain's armband, tested Malkowski with another curling free-kick that the goalkeeper tipped round the post following a deflection.

But the midfielder did make it two after 59 minutes from another set-piece wide on Hearts' left.

Malkowski, expecting Hartley to cross into the box, left a gap at the near post and the midfielder instead curled it round the one-man wall and beyond the despairing goalkeeper.

Another Whittaker drive stung Gordon's hands from 25 yards and Hearts lost Jose Goncalves to a bad head knock.

But Hibs' hopes of ending their 104-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup all but ended when Sproule was sent packing after stamping on the back of Saulius Mikoliunas.

Jankauskas pounced when Malkowski failed to kick clear a long ball from Fyssas.

And, when Smith was sent off for hauling back substitute Michal Pospisil, Hartley completed his first Hearts hat-trick from the resulting penalty.


Hibernian: Malkowski, Whittaker, Gary Smith, Caldwell, Murphy, Sproule, Hogg, Thomson, Glass (Konte 62), Fletcher (McCluskey 82), Benjelloun (Konde 70).
Subs Not Used: Simon Brown, Shields.

Sent Off: Sproule (78), Gary Smith (88).

Booked: Hogg, Thomson.

Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Pressley (Fyssas 45), Webster, Goncalves (Mikoliunas 69), Cesnauskis, Aguiar, Hartley, Skacel, Elliot (Pospisil 82), Jankauskas.
Subs Not Used: Banks, Camazzola.

Booked: Elliot, Gordon, Aguiar, Hartley.

Goals: Hartley 28, 59, Jankauskas 81, Hartley 88 pen.

Att: 43,180

Ref: S Dougal

SEE ALSO
Sunday's football photos
02 Apr 06 |  Photo Galleries


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