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Why this was worth getting sent off for... Neil Lennon on his thrilling high 5-5 that denied Rangers

By Graham Luney

Neil Lennon last night insisted he has no regrets over the wild celebrations that saw him sent off during a day of contrasting emotions for Ulster bosses in Scotland.

The Hibernian manager raced onto the pitch and began an aeroplane-style run after Jamie Maclaren rounded off the scoring in a thrilling 5-5 draw with Rangers.

Former Northern Ireland international Lennon claimed he was provoked by sectarian chanting from Gers fans.

"The celebration was just a little bit of 'have some of that'. It was worth it," said the Lurgan man who was ushered down the tunnel by fourth official Bobby Madden before the final whistle blew.

His fellow former Northern Ireland international Jimmy Nicholl confirmed he was stepping down from his caretaker role at the Gers with new boss Steven Gerrard set to take over, while Carnlough man Brendan Rodgers got his hands on the Scottish Premiership trophy after his Celtic side lost 1-0 at home to second placed Aberdeen.

The Dons registered their first league win at Celtic Park in 26 attempts to secure second place in the Scottish Premiership, leaving Rangers third.

Lennon's Easter Road goal celebration is likely to see the 46-year-old hit with fresh charges and he's already sitting on a suspended two-match ban after his bust-up with referee Kevin Clancy at Rugby Park back in February.

The former Celtic ace also confirmed he will "absolutely" remain Hibernian chief next season.

Lennon pledged to "reconsider his position" after Wednesday's derby loss to Hearts ruled out the possibility of a second-place finish.

Speaking before the match, he said he would "100%" be Hibs boss next term.

"What I said the other night has nothing to do with the board," he said.

"The board have given me all the backing they can."

While Lennon is going nowhere, Nicholl is leaving his Gers role as Steven Gerrard comes in as manager.

Nicholl said: "Will I bow out now? Yeah. Listen, it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down. It was only for six months, it might have been different. I don't know. But that will be it for me.

"We got off to a great start. We were in Florida then ended up six or seven games in a row and you're thinking, 'This is great'.

"But then all of a sudden you see things that shouldn't be happening and then think we can improve on that. Sometimes it wasn't smooth.

"That's why I keep going on about the inexperience of Stevie Gerrard. It doesn't matter because you have to make hard decisions."

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