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Hibs celebrate 12th title in style

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Updated at 7.15pm with video

TARXIEN RAINBOWS 1 HIBERNIANS 6

Hibernians celebrated their 12th title in style with a 6-1 thrashing of neighbours Tarxien Rainbows.

Having sealed their mission in their last match against St. Andrews, Hibs strode on to the pitch, knowing that nothing would spoil their party but there was no let-up as they celebrated their triumph with a dazzling display of attacking football.

Hibernians’ early nerves – if indeed there were any – were settled as Jurgen Degabriele put them on the way to victory after only three minutes. Jurgen Degabriele rose high to connect with a Jackson Lima cross and Andrea Cassar, the Tarxien goalkeeper let the ball slip through his hands.

Three minutes later, the nippy striker banished any lingering doubts that this would not be a day of celebrations for the Paolites when Hibs captain Clayton Failla launched a spectacular long-range pass from the left flank to Degabriele who flicked the ball over Daniel Zerafa before unleashing a low drive past Cassar who again got hand to the ball.

Tarxien’s dreadful start to the match continued on 11 minutes. After a patient build-up, Rodolfo Soares picked up the ball near the half-way line and released Jorginho on the right flank who left two defenders in his wake before his goal-bound shot rebounded off Bradley Barbara’s extended arm as the referee Sandro Spiteri had no choice to point to the spot. Degabriele had his penalty saved before completing his hat-trick from the rebound.

On 20 minutes, Jorginho finally got the goal he so obviously craved when he headed Hibs’ fourth from another Failla’s cross.

The Champions continued to create openings. A minute later, Jorginho should have extended his tally but dragged his shot wide off Cassar’s far post from 10 metres out.

Four goals up after just 20 minutes, Hibs were in the driving seat and their supporters in delirium.

The second half started along the same lines as the first with Hibs showing more urgency and purpose in their game.

It was the signal for Mark Miller to send on second choice goalkeeper Rudy Briffa for Andrew Hogg, who had been a spectator all afternoon.

The game’s entertainment value increased as Tarxien threatened to pull a goal back when Nilsson dallied his way into the box but Andrei Agius recovered ground to subdue the danger. Moments later, Aryton Azzopardi’s free-kick flew over the bar.

That was just a brief reprieve for Tarxien. A sweeping move which saw the ball played to substitute Montell Moore down the right flank, the latter teed up Degarbiele whose close-range shot was blocked by Cassar.

Eight minutes from time, Hibernians started to put the gloss on a goal glut when Lima raced on to Bjorn Kristensen’s flick to drill a finish past Cassar. As ‘campioni, campion’ resonated around the stadium.

Tarxien did manage to score a consolation five minutes from time when Nilsson was hauled down by Marcelo Dias as he closed in on goal. The Swede scored from the spot with his customary expertise.

But if the game required the perfect finish, Gilmar provided it with a rising shot which arrowed past the shell-shock Cassar – before joyous scenes engulfed the National Stadium at the final whistle.

 

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