Edina Hibs won the Pilmar Smith Cup today with a devastating display. Four of the goals came in an electrifying first half, meaning it was an uphill task for Craigroyston to get back into the game.
The triumphant players were quick to pay tribute to their friend and team-mate Sean Hogg, who was diagnosed with leukemia recently and had played his part in the cup run. T-shirts featuring his photo and the message: “Get well soon Hoggy” meant that he was in their thoughts as they picked up the trophy.
If you had a quick look at the Division 3 table beforehand you would be expecting a close game – both teams are locked on 33 points, albeit Hibs have two games in hand. But the men in white and green had other ideas as they seemed intent on lifting the cup.
Edina were also missing Wictor Danzeski through illness but they quickly put their double loss to one side. They came out of the traps like greyhounds, but instead of an artificial rabbit they were steaming towards the goal.
Several opportunities had been created before they opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Jordan Ewing was central to a lot of their good play, making passes to carve out openings.
Devan Craighead almost profited from the midfielder’s creativity on a couple of occasions but one shot was wide and another went over.
Jamie Martin put a volley wide, while in acres of space, with the Craigie defence incorrectly thinking they had played him offside.
The first goal came in the 11th minute and it was a glorious strike from Szymon Merwa – thumping it in from the right edge of the box. He hit it so quickly, and with such power, that even the best 'keepers in the world would have struggled to get to it.
Merwa embarked on a period of play where he was unstoppable, and he bagged another two goals to give daylight between the sides.
He latched on to a long throw down the left in the 19th minute, before tricking his way into the box and slotting it past Darren Owen.
Two minutes later the winger had his hat-trick. Aidan Dodds fed him and he beat two men before finishing calmly again.
Steven Pouton was working hard to try and make something happen for Craigroyston and a strike from distance was well saved by Kyle Betts.
Edina edged further in front one minute before half time through Dodds. The striker was alert on to a ball through the defence and his low finish widened the gap at a crucial time.
Pouton had another valiant attempt at registering his team on the scoresheet. This time a bending free kick was well saved by Betts.