Partick 3 Kilmarnock 0

For a man who had been suffering from an upset stomach all week, Patrick striker Alex Burns looked to be bursting with health as he grabbed a sensational hat-trick at Firhill.

BurnsÂ’ treble gave Thistle revenge for their narrow defeat at Kilmarnock in September and also a second successive victory to keep them well clear of the relegation zone.

The opening goal was a clinical finish from Gerry Britton's flick after 64 minutes and the icing on the cake was applied in the final 11 minutes when Burns twice chipped Kilmarnock's red-faced goalkeeper Gordon Marshall.

Burns was involved from the very start as he tested Marshall with a sweetly struck volley from 22 yards.

Kilmarnock refused to sit back and in the ninth minute Craig Dargo lofted the ball over advancing keeper Kenny Arthur only to see the crossbar save Thistle.

From the corner that followed Arthur was almost caught out by a fierce in-swinger from Shaun Dillon.

Dillon found the net with a similar effort after 27 minutes but referee Mike McCurry ruled that Arthur had been fouled.

Moments later Patrick full -back Alan Archibald was not too far away with a left-footed 30-yard rocket.

Top scorer Jamie Mitchell produced an equally spectacular attempt on goal in the 37th minute when his acrobatic overhead kick flashed over the top.

Both sides kept pushing in the countdown to half time with Martin Hardie of Patrick heading at Marshall and Gary McSwegan trying his luck from long-range for the visitors.

Burns wasted another chance at the start of the second period then Andy McLaren nearly surprised Arthur when he cut in from the left and shot low towards the near post.

Hardie and Dargo also failed to break the deadlock as the contest moved into its final third