Hibernians win Premier League for the third time in five years
Torrential rain and a bitterly cold breeze failed to dampen the joy in Mitchel Kennedy Park on Sunday last. In many ways this was a strange kind of contest. Hibernians had clinched their third Premier League title in five years the previous evening without kicking a ball.
Southend United, who were in second place had to beat Tramore to keep the race alive but they could only draw with the Seagulls and that meant Hibs could not be caught at the top. Tramore Rangers came to the city venue on a total of 14 points and they are of course battling like crazy to keep their Premier League status next season.
Hibernians manager Matthew Billingham started the game with a really strong Hibs team and they took the lead with just 14 minutes played when Mark O’Keeffe scored his 29th goal of the campaign. O’Keeffe was on the mark again four minutes later, this time from the penalty spot. Hibernians added a third goal in the second half, once again from the penalty spot, when Dylan Hersee scored. Zach Shanahan pulled a goal back for Rangers on 67minutes and added another goal six minutes later to leave just one goal separating the sides.
Conor Whittle however wrapped up the points for the champions when he netted their fourth goal in the 85th minute.
Martin Flavin, secretary of the Waterford and District Junior League presented the Premier League Trophy to an extremely happy Hibernians squad who now turn their attention to the Ardagh Cup, a trophy they have won on five occasions during the past six season