Mullingar man Aidan Keena made his senior debut for Edinburgh club Hearts on Sunday last.
Keena (18), who transferred to the Jambos from St Patrick’s Athletic in August, was thrown in at the deep end by Hearts boss Craig Levein in Sunday’s 1-1 Scottish Premier League draw with Partick Thistle.
The striker, a son of Martin and Julie Keena of Lynn Heights, Mullingar and a former student of Coláiste Mhuire, came on as an 87th minute sub for Hearts midfielder Don Cowie, sporting the no. 52 jersey.
Hearts had led since the 54th minute thanks to a goal from Esmael Goncalves, but Keena and co had to settle for a point when Thistle sub Kris Doolan pounced for an 85th minute equaliser.
Keena’s debut came days after he starred for Hearts’ U20s against their Partick Thistle counterparts midweek.
The Mullingar Athletic alumnus bagged a hat-trick at the Excelsior Stadium on Tuesday night. His first goal came 23 minutes in, when a chipped ball from teammate Marc Leonard sent him clean through, and he hammered a stunning shot that ricocheted off the frame of the goal and crossed the line.
Anthony McDonald squared the ball for Keena early in the second half for number two, and moments later, he completed his hat-trick by cutting inside the box on his right foot and despatching the ball to the top corner.
The Wee Jambos ran out 6-0 winners, and Keena’s fine form was subsequently rewarded with his cameo at Tynecastle.