sport

Celtic romp, Well break Hearts

Leigh Griffiths' hat-trick helped Celtic claim a comfortable 5-0 Scottish Premiership victory over Inverness, while Motherwell beat Hearts 4-1.

Neil Lennon's side had lost their 26-match unbeaten league record at Aberdeen in midweek with a 2-1 defeat, but when the 23-year-old striker opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first goal at Celtic Park since signing from Wolves in January, the threat of a repeat was removed.

The lively Griffiths then set up Charlie Mulgrew for his goal with a corner in the 22nd minute before thundering in a drive past Dean Brill in the 56th minute to end the game as a contest.

Kris Commons, on for Anthony Stokes, made it 4-0 in the 77th minute with a long-distance drive which squirmed through the fingers of Caley's over-worked goalkeeper, before Griffiths slipped in number five with five minutes remaining on a day when the margin of victory should have been much greater.

Motherwell also returned to winning ways in emphatic style with a James McFadden-inspired 4-1 win over bottom side Hearts.

McFadden had a part to play in goals for Iain Vigurs, Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton before finding the back of the net himself, as the Steelmen bounced back from defeats to Dundee United and St Johnstone.

Ryan Jack's early strike was enough to give Aberdeen all three points as they beat 10-man St Johnstone at Pittodrie.

Ross County and Partick Thistle slipped into the bottom three of the Scottish Premiership standings on Saturday after battling out a 1-1 draw at Global Energy Stadium.

Kallum Higginbotham put the visitors ahead from a free-kick in the ninth minute, only for Richard Brittain to level matters from another set-piece five minutes later.

With St Mirren winning 2-0 at home to Kilmarnock, the result saw both teams drop a place in the table - with just rock-bottom Hearts below them.

Gregg Wylde came off the bench to create one goal and score another for St Mirren.

The former Rangers and Aberdeen winger set up Conor Newton to fire home a first-time effort in the 78th minute and then struck an impressive goal three minutes from time.

The victory moved Saints level on 27 points with Kilmarnock and ended a run of five consecutive defeats for the Paisley side.