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Celtic disappointed but Lennon congratulates Rangers and Smith

Despite hammering Motherwell 4-0 yesterday, Celtic were unable to haul in Old Firm rivals Rangers on the final day of the Scottish Premier League season.

The Hoops required victory as well as 'Gers slipping up with either a loss or a draw against Kilmarnock but their 5-1 win at Rugby Park allowed them to clinch their third straight SPL title much to Celtic's dismay.

Manager Neil Lennon was understandably downcast but made sure he was complimentary towards Rangers and outgoing boss Walter Smith for their triumph.

"We are very disappointed. I don't like finishing second at anything," he said.

"Our priority was the championship but I'd like to congratulate Rangers.

"To win the league with 93 points takes some doing, it shows great consistency in the run-in.

"Obviously I would like to congratulate Walter as well, he has been a tremendous ambassador for the game in Scotland."

Smith will now bow out of the managerial caper at Ibrox, winning 10 Championships, 5 Scottish Cups and 6 League Cups during two stints at the club, with his assistant Ally McCoist to become his replacement.

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