A few nervous moments but in the end a fine victory. The home side started well and in six minutes had two shots blocked then a Charlie Christie shot saved by John Hillcoat. In 10 minutes Bobby Mann was penalised for bringing down Ian Ross just inside the box and the home fans were incensed. Ricky Gillies converted the kick to give Saints the lead against the run of play. In 26 minutes David Bagan intercepted a pass then found Dennis Wyness � his lob went just too high with the �keeper off the line. Stuart McCaffrey made a superb last gasp tackle in 36 minutes to deny Ross a shooting chance. In 38 minutes Bagan repeated his earlier interception but this time held onto the ball before hitting a 25 yard low drive past Hillcoat for the equaliser. This spurred the home side on and they created several chances before half time but none were converted. The second half belonged to Paul Ritchie who scored a hat trick and won the Man of the Match award. His first came in 55 minutes after good interplay with Christie � Ritchie�s first shot was blocked but it fell again for the striker and he hit it low into the net. Two minutes later a clever Bagan chip from the right looked bound for the far corner but Ritchie outjumped his marker to head in and make sure. Nicky Walker made a good diving save from a header in 59 minutes then Saints pulled one back in 72 minutes. A counter attack saw Jose Quitongo dart down the right wing then send over a high ball which the unmarked Ian Ross volleyed in from close range. Caley Thistle pushed forward to extend their lead and Bobby Mann came close with a backheader after a corner in 76 minutes. Barry Robson shot over two minutes later then with nine minutes left Ritchie made victory secure with his third of the day. Robson robbed Jamie McGowan, headed goalwards, faked a shot then passed to Ritchie on the left side of the Saints box � Ritchie drilled it low past the helpless Hillcoat. For the remaining minutes it was only a question of whether Caley Thistle would score a fifth. Hillcoat saved well from Robson and a Wyness shot was deflected for a corner. Caley Thistle edged back to fourth but only seven points ahead of bottom club Raith.