The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
CAPTAIN SCOTT Brown claims Celtic’s third successive Scottish league title victory has been as good as any because they found a way to dominate in the domestic game while competing in Europe.
Neil Lennon’s side played three Champions League qualifiers and six group stage games before exiting the competition, but only once did they fail to win following their return to domestic duties, drawing 2-2 at home to Inverness in the Scottish Premiership following a 2-0 first-leg qualifying defeat by Shakhter Karagandy in Kazakhstan.
The Parkhead club will have another shot at European football’s elite club tournament next season after clinching the championship last Wednesday night with a 5- 1 thumping of Partick Thistle at Firhill, although Saturday’s home performance in the 1-1 draw against Ross County was less impressive.
Kris Commons’ 28th goal of the season cancelled out a strike by Dutch striker Melvin de Leeuw for a share of the spoils from a game that failed to excite a bigger-thannormal Celtic crowd.
Brown, who admitted being culpable for County’s goal by losing possession in the build-up, said: “This title win definitely ranks right up there with the others as it’s been hard with so many Champions League games.”
A deserved, if unexpected point for Derek Adams’ ninthplaced side keeps them three points ahead of St Mirren and one point ahead of Partick in their quest to avoid the relegation play-off spot.
The Staggies boss thought his side deserved to take more from the game but, with only one defeat in their last five games, he is happy with his side’s form going into Friday night’s Highland derby against Inverness in Dingwall.
I nvern e s s and St Mirren missed out on the opportunity to close the gap on the teams above them in the Scottish Premiership with a 2-2 draw at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
The visitors took a third-minute lead through Jason Naismith, but goals by Ross Draper in the 16th minute and Greg Tansey 19 minutes later turned the match in favour of Inverness before the interval.
After the break, Sean Kelly brought St Mirren level just past the hour mark, and the Buddies looked to have been handed the initiative when Josh Meekings saw red with 23 minutes still remaining — but the hosts held on.
A cracking Craig Slater goal five minutes into injury-time against Motherwell gave Kilmarnock a precious three points to steer them further away from the Scottish Premiership relegation play-off spot.
Until the late decider it looked as though both teams would have to settle for a point from an evenly contested and entertaining match.
A first-half goal from IainVigurs should have set Motherwell up for a win to enhance their chase for a Europa League spot, but Rory McKenzie’s secondhalf equaliser brought the Rugby park side level and set up a grandstand finish.