First division: County now close to Caley’s title-winning points total

Ross County may have already secured the First Division title, but their players responded to manager Derek Adams’ request that they should not switch off by defeating second-placed Dundee 3-0 in front of 4,350 fans.

The Dingwall side’s unbeaten run is now 31 games and lifted them to 72 points, one behind the total earned by local rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle, when they won the title two years ago, and Adams will aim to pass this landmark as well.

Michael Gardyne, who will be moving to Dundee United during the summer, left another fine memory when he darted through the visiting defence to shoot past Rab Douglas after only nine minutes.

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Iain Vigurs crossed for Colin McMenamin to head the second, and it was three on 64 minutes when Gardyne converted another Vigurs cross.

The only disappointment for the home side was the dismissal of Rocco Quinn along with Dundee’s Kevin McBride.

Adams said, “Dundee are a very good side and to beat them 3-0 is a fantastic way to end a great few days. I asked for 70 points at the start of the season and we have now got more than that, but we want to keep on going.”

Dundee boss Barry Smith said, “Ross County showed why they are the Champions. They have set a great benchmark.”

At the opposite end of he table, Queen of the South occupy bottom spot only three points behind Ayr United and Raith Rovers, with Morton still not safe either.

Ayr bounced back from a run of four successive defeats to secure their fourth straight win over Livingston when Mark Roberts scored game’s only goal in the first half.

Raith Rovers now sit ahead of the Honest Men on goal difference only after they battled back to get a point in a 1-1 draw at Partick Thistle. Sean Welsh gave the Jags the lead when he volleyed in on 65 minutes with the Kirkcaldy side benefiting from an own goal by Paul Paton.

The Doonhamers played out a goalless draw with Falkirk, while Hamilton defeated Morton 4-3 in a game that looked over on 64 minutes when Simon Mensing added to Peter Weatherston’s own goal and Jon McShane’s double to make it 4-0. The game turned when home skipper Alex Neil was dismissed with 18 minutes left and Mensing scored at the wrong end shortly afterwards. Darren McGeough and Darren Young scored to reduce the deficit further, but the New Douglas Park side held out.