Mowbray seeks recognition for youth work at Hibernian

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The Independent Online

Today's Scottish Cup quarter-finalists all have to hark back for success in the competition, but it is glimpses of the future, not the past, they seek today.

Hearts, one of only three remaining Scottish Premier League sides and the most recent winners (in 1998), enter their lunchtime appointment with Partick, of the Second Division, as favourites for the trophy.

Hibernian, who last lifted the Cup in 1902, travel to the third top-flight side, Falkirk, whose last Cup win was in 1957.

The Hibs manager, Tony Mowbray, has earned much praise for producing a young, exciting, home-grown side but says that tangible recognition is overdue. "For me this team needs to stick a badge on to say that the team of 2005-06 had some success."

The most intriguing fixture sees Gretna, top of the Second Division, host St Mirren, who top the First. Gretna thrashed First Division Clyde, who had previously conquered Celtic, in the last round.

Gretna have never been this far and St Mirren last won the Cup in 1987, which was the last year that neither Celtic nor Rangers made it to the last eight. With a semi-final place at stake, and with the David and Goliath roles reversed - Gretna, backed by the millionaire philanthropist, Brooks Mileson, are the bookmakers' favourites - the match needs no added spice.

It has at least one significant subplot, however, pitting Gretna's striker James Grady against St Mirren's goalkeeper, Tony Bullock. They were team-mates at Dundee United last season. "I've bet [Grady] £50 that he won't put one past me," Bullock said yesterday. "He was well up for it."

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