• Michael Higdon scored two goals as Motherwell beat Caley
• Ivan Sproule's goal moves Ross County up to eighth in the SPL
Paul Heffernan scored a hat-trick as Kilmarnock continued to climb the Scottish Premier League table with a convincing 3-0 victory at Hearts.
Heffernan became the second Kilmarnock player to hit a treble at Tynecastle this season, matching the absent Cillian Sheridan's tally from earlier in the campaign.
The forward gave his side a 1-0 half‑time lead, before two second-half goals in the space of six minutes settled the match. The win moves Kenny Shiels's team into fifth place after their third league victory in four matches.
Leigh Griffiths scored the only goal of the game as he continued his fine run for Hibernian at St Mirren. Hibs have now struck five times in their three wins over the Paisley team this season and Griffiths has scored them all. The on-loan Wolves player is the Buddies' chief tormentor having single-handedly now robbed them of nine SPL points. He struck twice in both of the Leith side's 2-1 victories over Danny Lennon's team in August and November and added a fifth today, his 17th in all this term, with a 72nd-minute penalty to end a four-match unbeaten run for the Scottish Communities League Cup finalists.
However, he was fortunate to be handed the opportunity to haunt the hosts at St Mirren Park once again, in the light of the referee Willie Collum's controversial decision to penalise Jim Goodwin for a challenge on on-loan Barnsley winger Matt Done.
If Griffiths enjoys playing against St Mirren, then so must his manager, Pat Fenlon. The Irishman had watched a side that had risen to second place in the SPL slip to fifth on the back of a mere two wins in their 11 matches preceding today's action.
A Michael Higdon volley took his personal tally against Inverness this season to six goals as Motherwell leapfrogged Inverness into second place in the SPL with a 3-0 home win.
Higdon's left-footed strike, his 18th goal of the season, put Well three goals ahead before the hour mark and made it 12 goals and three wins in total for the Steelmen against their visitors. Higdon opened the scoring on the half‑hour mark with a tap-in and Nicky Law scored Motherwell's second following a typical burst into the penalty area after 52 minutes.
Motherwell's 5-1 victory at Inverness in November proved Caley Thistle's only defeat in 21 games and their first since a 4-1 defeat on their previous visit to Fir Park.
Despite arriving on a five-match run without victory, which included four defeats, Caley Thistle's overall play had not dipped. But they were ultimately well beaten again by a convincing Motherwell display.
Ross County stretched their unbeaten sequence to seven games with a hard fought 1-0 victory over St Johnstone at Victoria Park. Ivan Sproule scored the only goal of the game in the 11th minute with a strike from the edge of the penalty area.
Saints started on the front foot and Mehdi Abeid tested Mark Brown with a low drive in the seventh minute but the County keeper made a comfortable save. County who took the lead four minutes later when Michael Kovacevic and Sam Morrow linked and when the ball broke to Sproule he curled the ball into the far corner of the net for the opener, for his fourth goal in as many starts.
Saints controlled possession after the interval but found the goalkeeper Brown in outstanding form.