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Fenlon faces final curtain with Hibs

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Hibernian's Manager Pat Fenlon reacts to his side's performance against Falkirk during their Scottish Cup semi final soccer match at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow

Hibernian's Manager Pat Fenlon reacts to his side's performance against Falkirk during their Scottish Cup semi final soccer match at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow

Hibernian's Manager Pat Fenlon reacts to his side's performance against Falkirk during their Scottish Cup semi final soccer match at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow

It was hard not to share Pat Fenlon's joy this day last week as Hibernian completed a remarkable comeback to defeat Falkirk 4-3 at Hampden Park and qualify for the Scottish Cup final for the second year in a row.

But it was easy to see how Hibs' performance on the day – they had trailed 3-0 at the break – mirrored the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Fenlon's reign. Though perhaps this is appropriate given that Hibernian, like Robert Louis Stevenson, hail from the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

Last season, Fenlon's first at the helm in Easter Road, saw his side struggle against relegation before finishing 11th, their worst position since returning to the Premier League in 1999. There was, however, compensation in the shape of a first Scottish Cup final appearance in 11 years. However, this resulted in a nightmarish 5-1 defeat by arch-rivals Hearts. You had to go back to 1972 for a heavier loss in a Scottish Cup final.

Earlier this season, Hibernian seemed to have bounced back admirably and at one stage were disputing the lead with Celtic. They even made some amends for their cup final disaster by knocking Hearts out of this year's competition. But they faded away in the league, failing to make the top six. As the Premier League splits into two at the start of April, this condemned them to closing out the league with a series of irrelevant games against weak opposition, a sad comedown for a club which made the top half-dozen every year from 2005 to 2010.

Yet everything has been different in the Cup. That victory against Falkirk puts the club in a second successive final for the first time since 1924. They haven't actually won the competition since 1902 so the Dubliner is just 90 minutes away from giving the club its greatest day since they won their last league title in 1952.

The problem is that the final opposition will be provided by Celtic who, given the great disparity in resources, top-class experience and simple talent between the teams, are eminently capable of handing Hibernian another hammering. They might have made heavy weather of Dundee United in the semi, winning 4-3 in extra-time, but it's 1990, when Aberdeen put nine penalties past Packie Bonner in a shoot-out, since Celtic lost a Scottish Cup final to anyone but Rangers.

A win for Hibernian would be a shock for the ages. It would also make the former Shelbourne boss an Edinburgh folk hero. A heavy defeat, however, and he could be scouring the job ads this summer.

If there was ever someone who had it all to play for, it's Pat Fenlon on May 26.

Irish Independent