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Heff's as deadly a hitman as Hoops; Gros hails Killie goal machine.

HEARTS 0 KILLIE 3 COLIN DUNCAN REPORTS FROM TYNECASTLE THREE shots and three goals for Paul Heffernan, the first matchday programme in 3D ... and now three years since Kilmarnock last tasted defeat against Hearts.

It was trebles all round at Tynecastle where Killie's prolific poacher produced a scoring masterclass to condemn the Jambos to yet another defeat to the Ayrshire side.

Heffernan's performance was the perfect lesson in finishing and his young apprentice reckons it more than matches anything Gary Hooper is capable of.

William Gros, who had a hand in his strike partner's first two goals, believes Heffernan is right up there with Celtic's PS8million-rated hitman when it comes to sticking the ball in the net.

The Dubliner's impressive hat-trick made it 10 goals from 20 appearances this term, statistics that compare favourably with Hooper who has bagged 22 in 36 games for the SPL leaders.

Gros said: "Paul is easily one of the best finishers in the league and on his day he is as good as Hooper.

"In my mind he is just as good a player. Put the ball in the box and he almost always scores.

"It is great to play alongside Paul. Against Hearts he had three shots and scored three goals.

"He is such a great finisher and I learn so much from him."

Tynecastle continues to prove a happy hunting ground for Killie who have beaten Hearts three times this term and last lost to them in April 2010. While Heffernan deservedly walked off with the match ball, Gros was also instrumental in the victory, producing another assured display.

The 20-year-old Frenchman rarely featured during his first two seasons at Rugby Park but his patience is now paying off.

He said: "It was a good win and we are delighted. I am starting to get used to the game in Scotland.

"It has been difficult because I wasn't playing for a long time.

"I did think about moving elsewhere in order to play but I kept working hard and my chance has come."

Hearts made a huge fuss of producing the first 3D matchday programme , complete with glasses, but the majority of their play was pretty one-dimensional.

The game's turning point came just after the half-hour when a lack of communication between Darren Barr and Danny Wilson saw the two Hearts defenders sprawled on the deck following a sickening clash of heads.

On-loan Liverpool star Wilson was able to continue after having several stitches inserted in an eye wound.

Barr, who was at fault for the collision, had to be stretchered off suffering from concussion. His withdrawal forced the Jambos into a defensive reshuffle with youngster Dylan McGowan filling in at centre-half but they were still adjusting when Killie took the lead four minutes before half-time.

Gros's clever crossfield pass picked out James Dayton who sent over an inch-perfect cross that left Heffernan with a tap-in.

The same three players ere oal his nd were involved in the second goal in 65 minutes, although this time it was Gros on the end of Dayton's corner.

His back-post header fell neatly into the path of Heffernan high eatly effernan who smashed it gh into the net.

The Irishman completed s hat-rick seven minutes ter when Borja Perez forced mie MacDonald into a rrific save and Heffernan onverted the rebound to ake it five straight ins for Killie in orgie.

his later Jamie terrific converted make wins Gorgie.

CAPTION(S):

HEART SLICK J Killie boss Shiels

PAUL DOES Z THE TRICK Heffernan completes his treble as Killie beat Hearts yet again

THUMB GUY n Paul Heffernan is delighted with the hat-trick that saw him likened to Celts hitman Gary Hooper, below right

PICTURE: SNS
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 18, 2013
Words:620
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