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Alex Samuel scored a first-half hat-trick on his league debut as Inverness edged a 3-2 Scottish Championship victory over promotion-contenders Raith at Stark’s Park.

Former Livingston striker Jack Hamilton headed Josh Mullin’s corner home after 25 minutes for his 10th goal of the season in all competitions as the home side took the lead.

But six minutes later, Samuel equalised with the first goal of his nine-minute treble as he fired Nathan Shaw’s assist down the centre of the goal.

The 28-year-old on-loan Ross County forward picked out the bottom corner for his brace before completing his hat-trick – five minutes ahead of half-time – to make it four goals in two games after scoring on his Caley debut in the cup last weekend.

Seven minutes after the break, Lewis Vaughan reduced the deficit for the hosts after some good work from Zak Rudden but the visitors held on for maximum points.