Scottish football as it happened

All six teams in the top half of the Scottish Premiership win this weekend, with Celtic now four points away from lifting the title.

22 March 2014 Last updated at 14:13

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As it happened

  1. 14:14: 

    A very good afternoon, all. Thanks for turning your attention, hopefully not briefly, to BBC Scotland's live text commentary on today's football.

  2. 14:17: 

    We have five Scottish Premiership games kicking off at three o'clock. The mood will surely be buoyant at Pittodrie where Kilmarnock are the visitors. Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes will no doubt have been working hard this week to get the players to focus on the league after their cup triumph on Sunday.

  3. 14:20: 

    Second-bottom St Mirren are looking for their first win at Celtic Park in 24 years. The Buddies could do with a win to try to escape the play-off mire.

  4. 14:24: 

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon tells BBC Radio Scotland that his ideal scenario would be to manage Celtic in England's top tier: "Jock Stein was manager here for 13 years. We live in a different age now but I am very lucky. I have good people behind me who support what we are trying to do here. We're on 78 points here in the league and we had 79 last year. It's not been a brilliant season but we've done OK."

  5. 14:26: 

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "I have had no contact [from clubs in England] and I'm not chasing it. There's always a challenge here season after season. I've got a big job on my hands and I love what I do here. We do everything right in terms of balancing the books and fair play. This is a perfect example for clubs to follow. Ajax have had to sell their best players [too]."

  6. 14:30: 

    Here's an interesting stat about Aberdeen's results immediately after winning the League Cup.


    1-1 East Fife (a)


    1-2 Hearts (a)


    0-1 Hearts (a)


    3-0 Hibs (h)


    0-1 Partick Thistle (a)

    So, following five previous League Cup wins, Aberdeen have lost their next game three times. I wonder if Killie boss Allan Johnston knows about this.

  7. 14:31: 

    Saints boss Tommy Wright will be glued to the radio in his hospital bed as he recovers from gall bladder surgery. He picked the team but assistant Callum Davidson is the main man in the dugout.

  8. 14:31: 

    Goalkeeper Sean Murdoch makes just his second appearance for Hibs, with regular number one Ben Williams attending to the birth of his child. Manager Terry Butcher promised changes and he's made six, including the return of midfielder Kevin Thomson and a first start for on-loan Arsenal defender Daniel Boateng.

  9. 14:32: 

    Motherwell: Nielsen, Reid, Hammell, Hutchinson, McManus, McFadden, Sutton, Vigurs, Lasley, Carswell, Ainsworth. Subs: Stewart, Francis-Angol, Moore, Murray, Anier, Leitch, Thomas.

    Ross County: Brown, Cikos, Boyd, Kiss, Brittain, De Leeuw, Tidser, Slew, Oikonomou, Arquin, Songo'o. Subs: McCarthy, Gordon, Quinn, Glen, Saunders, McLean, Carey.

  10. 14:33: 

    St Johnstone: Mannus, Mackay, Wright, Anderson, McDonald, MacLean, Wotherspoon, Dunne, May, Miller, O'Halloran. Subs: Banks, Cregg, Millar, Hasselbaink, Croft, Clancy, Iwelumo.

    Hibernian: Murdoch, Forster, Nelson, Boateng, McGivern, Taiwo, Thomson, Craig, Stanton, Heffernan, Haynes. Subs: Grant, Maybury, Stevenson, Cairney, Collins, Handling, Cummings.

  11. 14:34: 

    Inverness CT: Brill, Raven, Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, Vincent, Draper, Foran, Tansey, Williams, Mckay. Subs: Esson, Ross, Devine, Watkins, Tremarco, Polworth, Christie.

    Partick Thistle: Gallagher, O'Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Piccolo, Mair, Bannigan, Fraser, Higginbotham, Erskine, Doolan, Taylor. Subs: Fox, Craigen, Baubin, Lawless, Elliot, McMillan, Moncur.

  12. 14:35: 

    Celtic: Forster, Matthews, van Dijk, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Henderson, Brown, Johansen, Commons, Griffiths, Stokes. Subs: Zaluska, Ambrose, Samaras, Balde, Pukki, Kayal, F Twardzik.

    St Mirren: Kello, Naismith, McAusland, McGregor, Kelly, Magennis, Newton, McLean, McGinn, McGowan, Thompson. Subs: Dilo, Goodwin, Reilly, Djemba-Djemba, Wylde, Teale, Campbell.

  13. 14:37: 

    Aberdeen: Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Reynolds, Considine, Jack, Flood, Smith, McGinn, Rooney, Low. Subs: Weaver, Shaughnessy, Robson, Tate, McManus, Vernon, Zola.

    Kilmarnock: Samson, Clohessy, Pascali, Ashcroft, Tesselaar, McKenzie, Maksimenko, Nicholson, Johnston, Gardyne, Boyd. Subs: Irvine, Reguero, Moberg Karlsson, Eremenko, O'Hara, Slater, Muirhead.

  14. 14:39: 

    I particularly enjoyed Willie Miller's scene-setter from Pittodrie on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound this afternoon, given the Reds' League Cup win last weekend: "It's a day of straw hats and trumpets in the Granite City." That's surely worth the licence fee on its own!

  15. 14:42: 

    Celtic's substitute striker Amido Balde has been injured in the warm-up. They have requested a change to the team sheets, with Holmbert Fridjonsson to be drafted in.

  16. 14:45: 

    Celtic shuffle things in defence as St Mirren come calling... Dutch stopper Virgil van Dijk returns from suspension at the expense of Nigerian Efe Ambrose.

  17. 14:47: 

    Aberdeen make two changes for the visit of Kilmarnock. Jonny Hayes, who lasted one minute in the League Cup final before suffering a shoulder injury, is replaced by the man who came on for him at Celtic Park - Cammy Smith. The other change is that Nicky Low starts instead of Barry Robson, who's on the bench.

  18. 14:50: 

    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "We're back to league business. We've got to concentrate all or efforts on it. We had a great week but we have to be mindful that we have the proper approach to it [today's game]. We want to make sure that that consistency that we've shown in the league pays dividends at the end of it. The players have been playing with confidence all season. Knowing the players there won't be any complacency. They might not always play well but they are always committed."

  19. 14:52: 

    The Aberdeen fans are looking a bit lightweight at Pittodrie today, are they not?

  20. 14:55: 

    Peter Pawlett and Jonny Hayes parade the Scottish League Cup trophy on the pitch at Pittodrie. Poor Pawlett missed the final against Inverness because of injury. Hayes has his right arm in a sling after that horrible shoulder injury. Dons mascot Angus the Bull looks mighty chuffed with himself as he gets to hold the silverware aloft.

  21. 14:57: 

    Hibs, four points behind St Johnstone in the joust for sixth place, are on a miserable run of just one win in 11 but they have been victorious on their last two visits to McDiarmid Park.

  22. 14:59: 

    Winter Olympic curling bronze medallists Eve Muirhead and Vicki Adams are guests of St Johnstone today. Like Angus the Bull, Pawlett and Hayes with the League Cup at Pittodrie, the curlers have been showing off their Olympic medals to the Saints faithful in Perth.

  23. 15:01: 

    The sun is out at Pittodrie, adding to the feel-good factor there these days. The Dons fans add further colour to the scene with their card display.

  24. 15:02: 

    Let the games begin!

  25. 15:04: 

    You can watch the full 90 minutes from Pittodrie on BBC Alba at 20:25 GMT today.

  26. 15:06: 

    Inverness have not scored a goal "proper" in five games. Of course, they did knock in a couple of penalties in the League Cup final shoot-out.

  27. 15:10: 
    Celtic defender Efe Ambrose and St Mirren's Eric Djemba-Djemba Celtic defender Efe Ambrose and St Mirren's Eric Djemba-Djemba were in relaxed mood prior to kick-off. Both are on the bench today.
  28. 15:12: 
    GOAL- Aberdeen 0-1 Kilmarnock (Boyd)

    Rory McKenzie picked the ball up out on the right just inside Aberdeen's half and was inexplicably allowed to drive diagonally towards the box, where he slipped in Kris Boyd, who duly turned and hit a low precise shot past Jamie Langfield.

  29. 15:13: 

    Nearly an own goal at McDiarmid Park as St Johnstone defender Frazer Wright heads a long punt over Alan Mannus but the keeper recovers in time to tip the ball over for a corner to spare his blushes.

  30. 15:15: 

    Well, you could almost have guessed that Kris Boyd would spoil the party at Pittodrie. The large crowd had little to get off their seats about in the opening 10 minutes, although Willie Miller was sure he witnessed them applauding a paper bag being blown across the pitch.

  31. 15:18: 

    Anyway, the Dons almost respond immediately as midfielder Cammy Smith hits a left-footer just wide of Craig Samson's post.

  32. 15:19: 
    GOAL- Aberdeen 1-1 Kilmarnock (Rooney)

    A neat exchange of passes between Nicky Low and Adam Rooney allows the latter to fire in his seventh goal in 10 games for Aberdeen. A similar low finish to Kris Boyd's except from a little further out.

  33. 15:19: 
    GOAL- St Johnstone 1-0 Hibernian (MacLean)

    David Wotherspoon crosses for Stevie May and the St Johnstone striker plants a header on target only to be denied by a great save from Sean Murdoch. From the resulting corner, Sean Murdoch looks less impressive and Steven MacLean forces the ball in at the second attempt.

  34. 15:20: 

    St Mirren have made a solid start at Celtic Park, winning a couple of set pieces and not letting Celtic dominate.

  35. 15:22: 

    Morton's Rowan Vine has levelled at home against Hamilton. It's 1-1.

  36. 15:24: 

    At Pittodrie, goalscorer Adam Rooney does his best to turn provider for Aberdeen but the Irishman's low cross is turned over by Northern Irishman Niall McGinn.

  37. 15:25: 

    It's been a good day for two Scots at Derby, with Craig Bryson scoring a hat-trick and Johnnie Russell getting on the scoresheet in the Rams' 5-0 win over Billy Davies Nottingham Forest.

  38. 15:29: 

    BBC Scotland football pundit Billy Dodds at Fir Park: "Not a thing of beauty, after 27 minutes..."

    And then... "Chance! Slew! Through! Misses!"

  39. 15:31: 

    Good chance for Partick Thistle. Lyle Taylor plays a one-two with Chris Erskine, but Dean Brill denies him with a fine save.

  40. 15:32: 

    Steven MacLean should double St Johnstone's lead as he stretches to meet a clever header across goal from David Wotherspoon but the striker somehow fires the ball over the top from two yards out.

  41. 15:33: 

    Celtic's Leigh Griffiths is released on goal by Anthony Stokes and the striker produces a fine finish only to see the offside flag raised against him.

  42. 15:37: 

    Greg Tansey fires a long-range effort just wide of the post. After a slow start it's livening up in Inverness.

  43. 15:37: 

    Aberdeen are beginning to take the game by the scruff of the neck, Cammy Smith making inroads to the Killie defence before teeing up Niall McGinn to shoot over.

  44. 15:38: 

    Liam Henderson thinks he has netted his first Celtic goal after Marian Kello makes a mess of a clearance but Sean Kelly makes a crucial block for St Mirren.

  45. 15:40: 

    This time it is Leigh Griffiths who is denied by the St Mirren defence. The Celtic forward bursts clear, rounds Marian Kello and tries to drill the ball into the net but Darren McGregor saves the day for the Buddies.

  46. 15:43: 

    Still no goals at Fir Park but at least Motherwell are putting pressure on the Ross County goal. Big John Sutton misses a cross at the near post then Keith Lasley knocks the ball past from close range.

  47. 15:44: 

    Hibs goalkeeper Sean Murdoch makes a brilliant save to keep out a powerful, close-range header from David Wotherspoon.

  48. 15:46: 
    Adam Rooney scores for Aberdeen Adam Rooney celebrates scoring the equaliser for Aberdeen at Pittodrie
  49. 15:46: 
    GOAL- Celtic 1-0 St Mirren (Johansen)

    Stefan Johansen's diving header bullets past Marian Kello, the Norway international's first goal for Celtic.

  50. 15:47: 

    Aberdeen 1-1 Kilmarnock

    Celtic 1-0 St Mirren

    Inverness CT 0-0 Partick Th

    Motherwell 0-0 Ross County

    St Johnstone 1-0 Hibernian

  51. 15:51: 

    Now seems a good time to remind you of the best ways to get in touch with us this afternoon. You can text your message on today's games to 80295 or use the hashtag #bbcsportscot on Twitter. Thanks.

  52. 15:52: 
    HALF-TIME- Scottish Championship

    Alloa 0-0 Falkirk

    Dumbarton 0-0 Dundee

    Morton 1-1 Hamilton

    Queen of the South 2-0 Cowdenbeath

    Raith 0-1 Livingston

  53. 15:53: 
    HALF-TIME- Scottish League One

    Airdrieonians 3-1 Forfar Athletic

    Ayr United 2-1 Arbroath

    Dunfermline 1-0 East Fife

    Stranraer 1-0 Stenhousemuir

  54. 15:55: 
    HALF-TIME- Scottish League Two

    Albion Rovers 3-0 Elgin City

    Annan Athletic 0-1 Peterhead

    Berwick Rangers 0-0 Clyde

    East Stirlingshire 1-2 Queen's Park

    Stirling Albion 0-0 Montrose

  55. 16:03: 

    St Johnstone are just 45 minutes away from sealing a third top-six place on the trot. As things stand, they are seven points ahead of seventh-placed Hibs, with two games to go before the Scottish Premiership split.

  56. 16:04: 
    GOAL- Motherwell 1-0 Ross County (McFadden)

    Scotland international James McFadden makes the breakthrough at Fir Park, following up on a pile-driver by Iain Vigurs.

  57. 16:06: 

    Let's hope we get a goal or two in the battle of the Jags in Inverness. It was basically the Lyle Taylor v Dean Brill show in the first half, according to Sportsound pundit John Robertson.

  58. 16:10: 

    BBC Scotland football pundit John Robertson: "It could only happen in Inverness. We currently have sunshine and snow."

  59. 16:11: 

    Sean Murdoch makes another great instinctive save to keep out a header from Stevie May. The Hibs keeper may have been to blame for the only goal so far but he's keeping his side in the game.

  60. 16:11: 
    GOAL- St Johnstone 2-0 Hibernian (McGivern og)

    St Johnstone double their lead thanks to an own goal from the unfortunate Ryan McGivern, who diverts a James Dunne cross over the line.

  61. 16:13: 

    Billy McKay plays through Greg Tansey and he's one on one with the goalkeeper. He lobs it over Paul Gallagher, but it drifts agonisingly over the bar, and Inverness's barren run in front of goal continues for at least a few more minutes.

  62. 16:14: 

    Kilmarnock's Kris Boyd forces Jamie Langfield into a diving save early in the second half - a shot from outside the box which are few and far between from the Scotland striker!

  63. 16:14: 

    A bad day for Hibs just gets worse as Danny Haynes is shown a straight red card for a rash lunge at David Wotherspoon.

  64. 16:17: 

    Inverness are turning the screw. Billy McKay puts another chance over the bar.

  65. 16:17: 
    GOAL- Motherwell 2-0 Ross County (Sutton)

    Striker John Sutton doubles the advantage for the Steelmen as he follows up on a swerving shot by Craig Moore that's parried into his path by Mark Brown.

  66. 16:18: 

    St Mirren are not out of it yet at Celtic Park. John McGinn's vicious cross travels right across the face of Fraser Forster's goal with no takers.

  67. 16:19: 
    GOAL- Celtic 2-0 St Mirren (Griffiths)

    Leigh Griffiths applies a simple side-foot finish to convert Anthony Stokes' pass to end a fine move.

  68. 16:20: 

    Aberdeen look for a penalty when Killie's Sean Clohessy gets his arms around Andrew Considine in the box, but referee Craig Thomson has none of it.

  69. 16:22: 
    GOAL- Inverness CT 1-0 Partick Thistle

    524 minutes after their last goal, Inverness finally hit the back of the net. Graeme Shinnie's free-kick finds Billy McKay at the back post and he heads the Highlanders in front.

  70. 16:25: 

    The Dons are enjoying most of the possession at Pittodrie but very few of their balls into the box are bearing fruit. Russell Anderson meets Cammy Smith's corner but again it's over the bar.

  71. 16:28: 

    John Robertson: "Partick Thistle dominated the first half, but in the second half Inverness have been completely different. Partick Thistle have it all to do to get back in the game."

  72. 16:29: 

    Stevie May could have had a hat-trick today but once again the St Johnstone striker is denied by Sean Murdoch, the Hibs keeper throwing himself at a powerful strike.

  73. 16:30: 

    The attendance at Pittodrie is 14,029.

  74. 16:30: 
    GOAL- Aberdeen 2-1 Kilmarnock (Jack)

    Mark Reynolds' low cross from the left is missed completely by Cammy Smith but it rolls on to Ryan Jack who strokes it beyond Killie's Craig Samson in front of the Beach End.

  75. 16:31: 

    BBC Scotland football pundit Allan Preston: "Hibs are in turmoil at the back!"

  76. 16:34: 
    Text us on 80295

    Andrew in Richhill: "Leigh Griffiths has been a great signing for Celtic. If Kris Commons leaves in the summer they have a ready-made replacement waiting to take his place."

  77. 16:35: 

    BBC Scotland football pundit John Robertson: "The difference in this game is Billy McKay has taken Inverness's chance, while Lyle Taylor has passed up Partick Thistle's. In the first half it was Dean Brill keeping Inverness in the game."

  78. 16:37: 
    Olympic bronze medal winner Eve Muirhead Super Saintee Eve Muirhead swapped ice for the hallowed McDiarmid turf prior to the match against Hibs
  79. 16:40: 
    GOAL- Motherwell 2-1 Ross County (Songo'o)

    With eight minutes to go Yann Songo'o volleys home a goal for Ross County.

  80. 16:44: 

    Peter McDonald has scored to put Dundee 1-0 up at Dumbarton with seven minutes to go.

  81. 16:45: 

    It sounds like an amazing Championship game at Cappielow where, despite Morton's doggedness, Hamilton have moved in front again and now lead 4-3.

  82. 16:45: 

    Dumbarton miss from the penalty spot against Dundee!

  83. 16:46: 

    At Fir Park, Ross County defender Yann Songo'o goes close to a second goal with a shot that whistles inches wide. Motherwell are hanging on.

  84. 16:48: 
    GOAL- Celtic 3-0 St Mirren (Stokes)

    Anthony Stokes adds a bit of gloss to Celtic's win, showing good technique to drill the ball home from the edge of the penalty area.

  85. 16:49: 

    The attendance at Inverness is 3,093.

  86. 16:51: 

    It's a great win for Celtic who are now four points away from clinching the title.

  87. 16:51: 

    Aberdeen 2-1 Kilmarnock

    Celtic 3-0 St Mirren

    Inverness CT 1-0 Partick Thistle

    Motherwell 2-1 Ross County

    St Johnstone 2-0 Hibernian

  88. 16:54: 

    Including Dundee United's win over Hearts last night, that means all six teams in the top half of the table enjoyed wins this weekend.

  89. 16:55: 
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    Fraser: "Hibs could find themselves dragged into a play-off place dogfight unless they up their game."

  90. 16:57: 

    Fraser could be right. Seventh-placed Hibs are seven points ahead of 11th-placed St Mirren - but the Buddies have a game in hand.

  91. 16:57: 
    FULL-TIME- Scottish Championship

    Alloa 3-0 Falkirk

    Dumbarton 0-1 Dundee

    Morton 3-4 Hamilton

    Queen of the South 2-1 Cowdenbeath

    Raith Rovers 2-4 Livingston

  92. 17:01: 

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "We are playing some really good, attacking football. We were a bit sloppy in periods in the first half. I am looking forward to Wednesday (away to Partick Thistle) now. We have got some really good players here. The squad is looking healthy. We just want to keep going. It's a bubbly dressing room."

  93. 17:04: 

    BBC Scotland's Tom English: "Hibs are in freefall. It's a hopeless situation. The team is just not good enough."

    BBC Scotland football pundit Allan Preston: "You have to give Terry [Butcher] a lot of time but he needs money to spend as well this summer."

  94. 17:06: 
    Text us on 80295

    Dean in Leith: "If I was a Hibs fan I would be a bit cautious about celebrating the relegation of Hearts. Hibs could still yet end up in the play offs and go down with Hearts."

  95. 17:08: 
    FULL-TIME- Scottish League One

    Airdrieonians 5-1 Forfar

    Ayr 2-1 Arbroath

    Dunfermline 1-2 East Fife

    Stranraer 1-1 Stenhousemuir

  96. 17:10: 
    FULL-TIME- Scottish League Two

    Albion Rovers 5-2 Elgin

    Annan Athletic 2-1 Peterhead

    Berwick Rangers 3-0 Clyde

    East Stirlingshire 1-4 Queen's Park

    Stirling Albion 2-2 Montrose

  97. 17:12: 
    Join the debate at #bbcsportscot

    Tom Watson: "#bbcsportscot if St Mirren avoid defeat in their upcoming midweek game, then hibs can be the team to send hearts down in the Ed derby nxt wk"

  98. 17:15: 

    St Mirren manager Danny Lennon: "I counted that we had 12 attempts on goal and that's a big task at Celtic Park. When you get these opportunities you have to take them. We didn't do so but we'll learn from that. This type of environment suits Kenny McLean. It's a fantastic learning curve for all the young boys to come here and play today. Yes, we've come away empty handed but we're not playing against that quality in the remainder of the season."

  99. 17:18: 

    St Johnstone coach Callum Davidson: "It was massive game for us today. Hibs had the better possession in the first half. Maybe we could have scored more but I am delighted for the club and for Tommy (Wright), who is lying in his hospital bed."

  100. 17:20: 

    St Johnstone coach Callum Davidson: "It's good to be in the top six. We said we had four big games - Hibernian, St Mirren, Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle. If we get good results we can put pressure on the teams above us. Hopefully the big crowds will come back, like there was in the European ties."

  101. 17:21: 

    BBC Scotland's Tom English: "Hibs need a win to make sure it doesn't get messy. The teams below them are fighting for their lives."

  102. 17:26: 

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall: "I was a lot happier with the performance today than the other night against Inverness. Overall it was a good performance and a good three points. There are two or three clubs in there fighting for that European spot. We have Kilmarnock coming here next Saturday and we have to show the same endeavour. We've got a lot of lads out of contract but the lads like it here. We've had offers for Shaun Hutchinson. We've still got to offer him a deal so we'll see what happens. If we do lose him in the summer he'll go with our best."

  103. 17:31: 

    Hibs manager Terry Butcher: "It was the good, the bad and the ugly this week. The ugly was the sending off of Danny Haynes. The bad was the defensive lapses for the goal and the good was the way we changed our shape. But once again it was powder puff up front. I didn't go mad in the dressing room. Having said that in the first half I was pleased with how we played."

  104. 17:34: 

    Hibs manager Terry Butcher continued: "Mistakes once again have cost us. We want to go to Hearts on Sunday and enjoy it. "

  105. 17:38: 

    There are important midweek games coming up. Ross County, in 10th place, could do with taking something from their home match against Aberdeen on Tuesday, while St Mirren, two points behind County, host St Johnstone.

  106. 17:41: 

    Partick Thistle are ahead of Derek Adams' County on goal difference - they face Celtic at Firhill on Wednesday, the same night as Dundee United and Inverness go head to head.

  107. 17:44: 

    Highlights of all today's Scottish Premiership games will be on the BBC Sport website at 18:00 GMT on Sunday. Before that we'll have all the managers' quotes this evening and reports on the games in the Championship and Leagues One and Two.

  108. 17:45: 

    I'll sign off now with a thank you for your company this afternoon. All the best.

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 22 Mar 2014 UK

Scottish Premiership summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Celtic 30 60 81
No movement 2 Aberdeen 29 15 57
No movement 3 Motherwell 30 6 57
No movement 4 Dundee Utd 30 18 50
No movement 5 Inverness CT 29 6 48
No movement 6 St Johnstone 30 5 41
No movement 7 Hibernian 31 -11 34
No movement 8 Kilmarnock 31 -16 30
No movement 9 Partick Thistle 30 -15 29
No movement 10 Ross County 30 -17 29
No movement 11 St Mirren 30 -21 27
No movement 12 Hearts 30 -30 6