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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

Hat-trick for Dubliner Rooney and Ireland international Hayes also on target in 7-2 rout

The win against Motherwell moves Aberdeen three points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

Adam Rooney training with the Ireland squad in Abbotstown last October.
Adam Rooney training with the Ireland squad in Abbotstown last October.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Aberdeen 7 Motherwell 2

DUBLINER ADAM ROONEY continued his fine goal-scoring record in the Scottish Premiership with a hat-trick for Aberdeen in a 7-2 drubbing of Motherwell tonight.

Rooney, 28, has now scored 74 goals in 169 appearances in Scotland’s top tier across his spells with Aberdeen and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

It was also an excellent night at the office for his fellow Dubliner Jonny Hayes, the twice-capped Ireland winger bagging a goal and an assist as Aberdeen moved three points clear of third-placed Rangers, and 24 points behind runaway leaders Celtic.

Former Ireland U21 international Rooney, who is yet to be capped at senior level, bagged himself the match ball and made it 16 goals for the season in all competitions with an excellent performance at Pittodrie Stadium.

Hayes, who made his international debut against Switzerland in March 2016, opened the scoring for the Dons with the game just two minutes old, his low, deflected drive finding the net after some excellent build-up play by Rooney.

Andrew Considine then doubled Aberdeen’s lead on 32 minutes when heading home a corner by former Derry City man Niall McGinn.

Rooney, a late inclusion in Martin O’Neill’s squad for World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova last October, got in on the scoring act just two minutes later after Hayes returned the favour with a pass to his compatriot, to make it 3-0.

Ryan Christie made it 4-0 before half-time with a moment of magic, curling a stunning left-footed effort into the top corner and putting the game well and truly out of ninth-placed Motherwell’s reach.

Rooney got his second from the penalty spot 20 minutes into the second half before completing his hat-trick five minutes later after another McGinn corner caused the Steelmen problems.

The visitors did get some respite late on through goals from Ryan Bowman and former Celtic defender Stephen Pearson, but Motherwell hadn’t finished yet either as Peter Pawlett bagged the home side’s seventh of the night in the 83rd minute.

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