A David Bates goal in the 85th minute gave Rangers a crucial 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday.

The big defender will be moving to Hamburg this summer but in his last home game for the Light Blues he bundled the ball in at the back post from a deep cross and the win moves Jimmy Nicholl’s side to within a point of second-place Aberdeen.

The Dons were held to a 0-0 draw with Hibs at Pittodrie on Saturday afternoon with the visitors having the best chance to score after just six minutes when Jamie Maclaren was brought down in the box by Mark Reynolds.

Australian striker Maclaren stepped up but his penalty was saved by Joe Lewis while Niall McGinn went closest for Aberdeen when his free-kick hit the bar before the half-hour mark.

Hearts-bound Steven MacLean signed off at St Johnstone with a dream hat-trick in a 5-1 away victory over Motherwell.

The striker will miss Saints’ next game at Hamilton because of the artificial surface and is suspended for their final game of the season.

Steven Anderson and David McMillan also found the net for Tommy Wright’s side at Fir Park with Gael Bigirimana scoring a consolation goal with 12 minutes remaining.

In Saturday’s early 12.30pm kick-off there was a 1-0 victory for ninth placed Dundee over tenth placed Hamilton at Dens which all but secures the hosts’ Premiership safety as they are now six points clear of the play-off spot.

Kevin Holt fired in the only goal of the game with 18 minutes on the clock but Accies’ Dougie Imrie saw his penalty saved by Elliot Parish after the break.

In the Friday night bottom of the table clash Ross County came from a goal down to draw with Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Chris Erskine hit the opener for the Jags but Billy Mckay levelled from close range before the half-time interval. County remain two points adrift of Thistle at the foot of the Premiership.

On the same evening a stunning solo goal from Sam Stanton sent Dundee United into the Premiership play-off semi-final.

Declan McManus gave Dunfermline the lead on 14 minutes in the second leg at Tannadice but Scott McDonald levelled the aggregate score at 1-1 before Stanton produced his moment of magic on 70 minutes to catapult United into the play-off semi-final and end Dunfermline’s season.

The last game of the weekend was played at Tynecastle on Sunday with Celtic beating Hearts 3-1.

Kyle Lafferty scored with a fine finish on 18 minutes but the visitors battled back with goals from Boyata, Dembele and Sinclair.

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