Josh Magennis ‘headbutts’ Jamie Hamill during game

ON an afternoon of drama, tempers flared at Firhill yesterday as Kilmarnock team-mates Josh Magennis and Jamie Hamill were involved in an ugly confrontation that overshadowed the 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle that ensured Killie’s Premiership survival and helped condemn Motherwell – who lost to St Mirren – to the play-offs.

Killie and make-up: Hamill and Magennis celebrate the latter's goal. Picture: SNS
Killie and make-up: Hamill and Magennis celebrate the latter's goal. Picture: SNS

Hamill argued furiously with Magennis for giving away a free-kick in the 27th minute. The pair eye-balled each other before Magennis appeared to motion his head towards the midfielder. Pictures seemed to show that contact was made but the pair escaped punishment because the incident was missed by referee John Beaton, who ironically was headbutted when refereeing in Saudi Arabia last weekend.

The Ayrshire club refused to make either Magennis or Hamill available to the press afterwards but manager Gary Locke attempted to make light of the incident.“I thought they were trying to give each other a kiss to be honest…” Locke said. “I think it showed that the two of them were desperate to win. As long as it doesn’t step over the mark then I don’t need to step in.

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“It’s not something I’m overly bothered about. If they go over the score I’ll get involved. I didn’t have to sort anything out. They had an argument on the pitch, it happens every day in training. It shows that the spirit is there in the players – it was there for everyone to see today.

“The most important thing is the 4-1 result. They were fine in the shower afterwards, kissing each other. The two of them are strong characters and you need that if you want to be successful.”

The incident comes only days after Magennis told reporters that all was harmonious within the Kilmarnock camp. “The boys haven’t started arguing with each other,” Magennis said on Tuesday. “There’s been no fisticuffs, there’s just been a calmness and an acknowledgement that we are up against it.”