Scottish roundup: Niall McGinn’s sublime strike earns Dons first win

Northern Ireland head coach Michael O'Neill celebrates after Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores their second goal

Niall McGinn and Miles Storey scored Aberdeen’s first league goals of the season as Derek McInnes’s men overcame Partick Thistle 2-1 at Pittodrie.

McGinn powered a 25-yard free-kick high into the net to open the scoring before a Liam Lindsay defensive mistake allowed Storey to double the lead. Sean Welsh was sent off for the Jags, for whom Chris Erskine netted a late consolation with a stunning strike.

After the match, the Aberdeen manager, McInnes, emphasised the positives of a solid display. “I thought we were very good, with some moments of quality play, and we were the better team. The last 10 minutes were a wee reminder there is work still to be done, but I would like to concentrate on the first 80 minutes.”

Don Cowie, the Hearts captain, inspired his side to their first league victory of the season after scoring twice and setting up two more goals in a 5-1 demolition of Inverness.

The former Caley midfielder scored either side of a Conor Sammon header before Sam Nicholson’s two well-executed late goals, the first of which was set up with a cute back-heel by new signing Bjorn Johnsen on his debut.

Caley got on the scoresheet three minutes from time through Ross Draper, despite Callum Paterson’s best efforts to keep the ball from going in the net. Cowie, the man of the match, left the pitch to a rapturous round of applause from the home fans when he was replaced by Robbie Muirhead. It was a return to winning ways for Robbie Neilson’s side against a Caley team that are still searching for their first point of the campaign.

Liam Boyce’s double set Ross County on course to a deserved 2-0 victory against Kilmarnock in a disjointed game at the Global Energy Stadium.

County broke the deadlock in the 29th minute, when Boyce scored after he had played Michael Gardyne into space inside the area and his cut-back fell kindly for the Irishman, who converted his shot into the net from eight yards out.

The home side controlled the tempo of the match and they deservedly doubled their advantage in the 74th minute when substitute Alex Schalk ran on to a through ball from Woods and his cross was pushed into the net at the second attempt by Boyce.

In the Championship, two first‑half goals from Jason Cummings earned Hibs a 2-0 win at St Mirren. The 21-year-old converted a David Gray assist to break the deadlock and then Cummings pounced to take advantage of miscommunication in the Buddies defence to finish from a tight angle.

The league leaders, Raith Rovers, beat Dunfermline 2-0 in their derby to retain top position in the division, ahead of Hibs.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Nial Briggs, for The Observer on Saturday 20th August 2016 19.06 Europe/London

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