Rangers Beat Kilmarnock 5-1 to Claim Record 54th Scottish Soccer Title

Rangers beat Kilmarnock 5-1 today in the final round of matches in Scottish soccer’s Premier League to claim the national title for a record-extending 54th time.

Kyle Lafferty scored a hat-trick for the Gers, who take the championship for a third straight season. Steven Naismith and Nikica Jelavic also got goals at Rugby Park, with James Dayton replying for the home team.

Celtic finished one point behind following a 4-0 home victory against Motherwell today. Gary Hooper, Georgios Samaras, Shaun Maloney and Pat McCourt got goals for the Hoops.

Rangers now have 12 more titles than archrival Celtic. The two Glasgow clubs have claimed every league championship since Aberdeen won in 1985.

Coach Walter Smith has led Rangers to 10 of those league titles. The 63-year-old, in his second spell in charge, is quitting and will be replaced by his assistant Ally McCoist for next season.

Rangers also claimed the League Cup this campaign.

This month, Craig Whyte paid 52.5 million pounds ($85 million) for an 85 percent stake in the club previously held by David Murray. Whyte has said he will pay off debt of about 18 million pounds to Lloyds Banking Group Plc and invest about 10 million pounds in the team.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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