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'No regrets' for Dubliner Doyle as he walks away from Hibernian

EOIN DOYLE has spoken out about the moment when he almost gave Hibs the lead against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.

Six minutes into the match Leigh Griffiths sent a ball across the Celtic goal with Doyle stealing a yard on Charlie Mulgrew to position himself to head at goal.

The striker's effort from eight yards out was clawed away by Fraser Forster. Less than two minutes later Celtic opened the scoring when Gary Hooper knocked home a cross from Anthony Stokes. Sunday's match was Doyle's final appearance for Hibs before joining Chesterfield but he has no plans to re-live the moment when he almost made Scottish Cup history.

"I haven't watched the game and I don't plan to," the striker admitted. "When the cross came in I was running backwards and had to leap. I remember thinking, 'Try to head it back across the goal' but I knew when I got up that wasn't possible.

"So I just tried to head it, make sure it was on target and get it to the side of the keeper. I managed that but he pulled off a great reaction save.

"Maybe if it had been a different keeper rather than a world-class one like him, it might have gone in – I don't think I could have done any more.

"I'm disappointed because it was obviously our best chance. It's sad to think they scored a couple of minutes later and if it had gone in it would obviously have changed the aspect of the game.

 

Acceptance

"Maybe we would have been able to hold on and it has been playing on my mind since but I don't think I would have been able to change anything anyway."

After the match there seemed an acceptance of defeat which sat uneasily with many Hibs supporters with the result treated as a moral victory of sorts after last season's 5-1 decider defeat by Hearts.

Doyle experienced the hurt on both occasions and isn't taking any consolation from losing to Celtic. "Nobody took defeat lightly at all," he stated. "We tried our best, we gave everything, no one gave any less than 100pc. I'm obviously disappointed to be leaving Hibs. I've loved the club, the city, everything about it but it's just something I have to do. It was disappointing not to come away with a winner's medal at the end but I've no regrets over the 18 months."


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