Pat Fenlon says Hibs stand-ins deserved reward

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HIBERNIAN supporters won’t know whether the greatest surprise about their team’s 3-1 win at Rugby Park last night was that it was the Leith club’s second-straight league win for the first time since November or that it was achieved without Leigh Griffiths even being in the building.

The Easter Road club’s manager admitted that the club’s talismanic 28-goal striker did not even travel. He was among a raft of senior performers left out as the manager prioritises the Scottish Cup final on Sunday 26 May.

“He’s grand, he’s okay,” said Fenlon. “We gave him the night off, we didn’t bring him so we could rest him. He will be back in training on Friday and I’m sure he will be raring to go at the weekend.”

Griffiths may yet be restored for Hibs’ final league game against Dundee, on Saturday with the striker desperate to become the first player at the club to break the 30-goal mark in 40 years.

In his absence, though, Hibs suggest they aren’t always a one-player team with a late double from Eoin Doyle putting them on course to finish seventh. It could also put Doyle in contention for a cup final place.

Fenlon added: “We’ve got goals from other players and I was delighted for Doyle because he worked tremendously hard and got his rewards in the end. He put in a hard shift and stuff didn’t come off for him over most of the game and then he got two chances and took them well. He puts in a great shift every time he plays and he got his rewards.

“I thought we played well in the first half and Kilmarnock played very well in the second half. We made a lot of changes tonight as well. Some of it was good and some of it was very average but we will take it.”

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels was left to rue the fact that his team seemed to be pushing for a winner at 1-1 when Doyle struck. “Hibs have gone home happy, good luck to them, but we will certainly not be doing the lottery the way things are going,” he said.