FIVE minutes were all it took for Martin Boyle to answer a question which seemed unthinkable when the shutters were closed on Scottish football 143 days ago. Just how does a Hibernian player celebrate when the stands aren’t full of Leith’s faithful but instead a pack of kangaroos, the Murray brothers, and banners dedicated to the London North Eastern Railway? 

The Aussie didn’t seem to know either, but rather than make a beeline for 30 cardboard home comforts, he waited for his joyous team-mates to mob him in the corner and, for a brief moment, four months of SPFL infighting felt as needless as it ever did. 

This was football, maybe not like we'd ever seen before, back at 3pm on a Saturday and in difficult, unprecedented times, a moment as simple as Boyle sprinting beyond a desperate Jake Eastwood and firing into the bottom corner deserved to be savoured by Jack Ross and his players. 

Put aside the strangeness of it all, Hibs’ own version of mid-noughties Fifa crowd noise over the tannoy, and squabbles about match streaming rights that had dominated the pre-game chat; so many of us have been so desperate to get our game back just to savour the sound of the ball hitting the net. 

HeraldScotland: Hibs boss Jack Ross Hibs boss Jack Ross

This game served those moments up in unexpectedly hearty helpings, although it all felt like a feast fit for the Last Supper after months of famine. Boyle was at it again later in the second-half to make it two, before Chris Burke dragged Kilmarnock back into the game with a free kick that deserved more than the stunned silence and clatter of keyboards from the press pack. 

Despite an improved Kilmarnock in the second-half causing plenty of nervy moments for Ross' side, Hibs held on to secure a much-welcome three points. 

This was fast-paced, full bloodied football from the first minute. Moments after both sides took the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Aaron Tshibola fed the ball to the rampaging Ross Millen down the right and his delicious cross skipped just beyond the despairing reach of Greg Kiltie. 

The Killie faithful quite rightly would have been feeling good about themselves but less than two minutes later it was Boyle dashing off for his first celebration in the 'new normal'.

It all came from some lovely link-up play with newbie Kevin Nisbet, the former Dunfermline Athletic striker ghosting beyond the reach of Stuart Findlay and threading a ball through which had just enough pace to tempt Eastwood, but not enough to ever reach him. Certainly not when Boyle put on the afterburners, swallowed up the yards, and fired into a near-empty net. 

Hibs’ tails were up and as Killie struggled to deal with the early blow to the ribs, Joe Newell waltzed beyond the grasp of the defence and curled a wonderful effort towards the far corner. This time Eastwood, who was hooked at the break, redeemed himself with a flying save. 

It always seemed like a case of when rather than if Hibs would find a second and although Dyer’s side slowly crept back into the contest, Boyle made them pay for another moment of slack defending. Scott Allan was at the heart of things, leaving Killie’s midfield in his dust as he drove towards their box, before laying it off to his team-mate to fire into the bottom corner. 

A team with players of Burke’s quality can never be completely written off and it was the veteran who single handedly turned the game into a proper contest on the stroke of half-time. When he placed the ball down for a free kick from 30 yards it seemed improbably far out, but he made a mockery of those predictions by thundering the ball beyond the despairing reach of Ofir Marciano. 

HeraldScotland: Alex Dyer will hope for better days this season Alex Dyer will hope for better days this season

Killie came out the second-half a completely different side. The passing was crisper, Tshibola looked a yard quicker in midfield, and the space seemed to have disappeared for Hibs. But, for all the lovely sprinkling of passes, Dyer’s men just couldn’t force Marciano into any real action. 

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That was until the Israeli had to adjust and push Paul Hanlon’s flick beyond the post shortly after the hour mark. The keeper later had to show a strong pair of hands to keep out another audacious free kick from Burke. 

Their big moment of the second-half never did arrive, however, and instead it was Boyle and co. who savoured the chance to enjoy a first post-game celebration in front of the empty stands.