Robbie Nielson’s side had enjoyed eight straight wins when they arrived at East End Park but as they returned to Edinburgh they were trailing the Pars by four points with the Championship season reduced to just 27 matches.
McInroy missed most of last season after undergoing ACL surgery in May 2019 but put in a couple of Reserve team appearances before Lockdown.
After taking part in Celtic’s pre-season training in Loughborough and France he featured in the pre-season matches against Ross County and Hibs in the unusual position of left-back before joining Dunfermline, his home town team in August for a season long loan.
Last night was just his fifth appearance for Dunfermline but he played like a veteran in centre midfield as Andy Halliday and Steven Naismith were posted missing.
The 20-year-old turned in a classic midfield display battling from box to box. He never flagged or took a breather as he chased every tackle and brushed aside some cynical treatment from Hearts to play a real team role in an important victory for Stevie Crawford’s side.
Goals early in the second half from a Dom Thomas deflection and Euan Murray header gave Dunfermline a cushion but in the 83rd minute a Stephen Kingsley header put the outcome in doubt.
McInroy was still going strong after five minutes of extra-time with a performance that had echoes of another Fifer who was making his way at Hibs about 15 years ago.
Watched the Dunfermline game last night on BBC. Credit where its due. They have some cracking young players, the boys Turner and Mcmanus stuck out and great to see Kerr McInroy playing his natural position. Great experience for when he eventually returns to glasgow. ?
— Tony Bonner (@TonyBonner10) November 21, 2020
Kyle Turner and Kerr mcinroy absolutely unreal tonight! Shout out for the rest of the team a great battling performance while we rode our luck at times! #COYP
— Cammy G (@OfficialCammyG) November 20, 2020
Kerr McInroy by the way, what a player that boy is!
— Connor McCloskey (@ConnorMcCloske4) November 20, 2020
Kerr McInroy is so under rated. what a pler.
— Gee?? (@GeeCurtis7) November 20, 2020
Welcome @kerrmcinroy7 ?
The local lad, who has captained @CelticFC‘s Reserve team, joins on loan ?
Kerr McInroy will be in a Celtic midfield in a couple years , cracking player.
— Steven Higgins (@stevenhiggins27) November 20, 2020
Well deserved for Dunfermline tonight. Celtic loanee Kerr McInroy particularly impressive in the middle of the park on a great night for the Pars. https://t.co/owtVvoFXMB
— Calum Woodger (@CalumWoodger) November 20, 2020
Fairly level to be fair, thought Kerr McInroy was outstanding…..great loan signing for us.
— Chris McKinnon (@cjmck777) November 20, 2020
Phew! Nervy ending but terrific from @officialdafc tonight. Thought it was a cracking team performance and the shape was excellent. Got a bit of luck at times but played very well – thought Kerr McInroy was especially outstanding. @DomThomas23 and @Muzz363 again though ? #COYP
— Ross Hart (@RossH_DP) November 20, 2020
Kerr McInroy has been sensational vs Hearts tonight
— Jamie (@Jamie67_) November 20, 2020