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SPL wrap: High five for Rangers, Hearts held

Rangers opened up a four-point gap in the race for the Scottish Premier League title with a 5-0 demolition of Motherwell on Saturday.

Kyle Lafferty nabbed the opener, Steven Davis and Nikica Jelavic doubled and tripled Rangers’ lead and Steven Naismith added a late brace in the rout.

It is the fourth time this season that Well have lost to Rangers by four or more goals, and their 30th straight winless result against the Gers.

Lafferty put the reigning champions ahead in the 18th minute, despite Steven Hammell’s attempt to clear from the line with goalkeeper Darren Randolph beaten.

It was a margin that would stand until the 51st minute, when Davis pounced on a rebound of Naismith’s blocked shot and picked out the far corner.

Jelavic, having already struck the bar and had an effort ruled out for offside, finally got on the scoresheet with a header to Sasa Papac’s cross in the 65th minute.

Eleven minutes later Naismith had his first, blasting a strike beyond Randolph from 22 yards out, and the Scotland international added a second in injury time with a fine shot from an acute angle.

Bitter rivals Celtic can close in on Rangers’ advantage when they host Dundee United on Sunday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, St Johnstone came from a goal down to edge Hibernian 2-1 on Kevin Moon’s last-gasp winner.

Akpo Sodje fired Hibs into the lead after 23 minutes, but Liam Craig levelled for the visitors 50 minutes later with a header from Danny Grainger’s corner.

Craig then turned provider in stoppage time, sliding back his pass for Moon to fire in the late winner.

Aberdeen ended an eight-game winless run with a 1-0 defeat of Inverness thanks to Peter Pawlett’s 75th-minute goal, and Hearts clung on for a 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock.

James Fowler’s deflected shot edged Kilmarnock ahead 10 minutes after the restart, but Rudolf Skacel’s 67th-minute strike and Manuel Pascali’s own goal nine minutes later handed Hearts the advantage.

Kieran Agard rescued a point for his side with an 86th-minute equaliser.

Sat 30 April, 2011
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