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Scottish Premiership

Rugby Park (ATT 7,495) 14th March 2014 - Kick off 19:45

Kilmarnock Kilmarnock vs Celtic Celtic

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Celtic 3

K Commons (57, 59, 86)

Scottish Premiership: Kris Commons hat-trick in Celtic's 3-0 win at Kilmarnock

Last Updated: 15/03/14 2:42pm

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Kris Commons: Hat-trick for Celtic at Rugby Park

Kris Commons: Hat-trick for Celtic at Rugby Park

Kris Commons took his tally for the season to 26 with a second-half hat-trick as Celtic strolled to a 3-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

The midfielder struck twice in as many minutes just before the hour and a drilled finish late on earned him the match ball - and his side a 24-point advantage over second-placed Aberdeen.

Celtic enjoyed some early pressure on a difficult pitch, with Anthony Stokes having a close-range effort chalked off for offside, but Kilmarnock slowly established a foothold - without ever troubling Fraser Forster.

Kris Boyd had a penalty claim rejected by referee Willie Collum as Efe Ambrose appeared to give him a nudge in the box.

Commons and Leigh Griffiths worked Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson as Celtic continued to forage for the opening goal.

But the visiting fans had to wait until the 56th minute for the breakthrough as Commons worked a neat one-two with Griffiths before scoring with a flick of his left boot.

Two minutes later he raced onto Adam Matthews' low cross to give Samson no chance and thereafter it was all about whether the Celtic man could claim his second hat-trick of the season.

He warmed Samson's gloves from 12 yards, saw another attempt disallowed before his low drive from 22 yards (86) found the bottom corner.

The result leaves Celtic seven ponts from their 45th Scottish title and the spectre of a relegation play-off still hanging over Kilmarnock, who are just four points off 11th-placed Ross County.

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Matches

Table

Scottish Premiership

Scottish Premiership
Pos Team P Pts
1 Celtic 18 39
2 Aberdeen 18 37
3 Dundee United 18 34
4 Hamilton Academical 18 33
5 Inverness CT 18 32
6 St Johnstone 18 29
7 Kilmarnock 18 24
8 Dundee 18 21
9 Partick Thistle 18 20
10 Motherwell 18 17
11 St Mirren 18 11
12 Ross County 18 10