CELTIC's win over Ross County in Dingwall had more than a tinge of McQuiggin's gold to it.

That's a darts term, by the way. It's definitely fallen out of use but, basically, it means finding an unconventional or unexpected way to finish a leg.

On the oche that means checking out, for instance, 121 by hitting something like treble 17, treble 18, double eight instead of treble 20, treble 11, double 14. It's not 'wrong', it's not even showing off, it's just unexpected.

For Celtic in the Highlands that meant the debutant B-team winger passing it to the captain, who slipped it to the resurgent playmaker, who hung it up at the back post for... perhaps the most expected unexpected goalscorer in the country at the moment. 

Anthony Ralston's 97th-minute winner is, as he said after the game, "the stuff of dreams". But more than that you could argue it's the stuff of potential champions.

Of course, such a word is probably taboo around Lennoxtown until it becomes a reality but the manner of Celtic's win felt like another, if not a statement, then certainly a sign.

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A sign that those early-season failures to get games over the line no longer plague Ange Postecoglou's men as they once did. 

A sign that, even with all of their first-choice front three missing and not a lot on the bench in reserve to call upon, the Hoops will stick to their guns until the end. We don't stop, indeed.

A sign that, despite the gap at the top of the table still sitting at four points, this Celtic team are not going away. 

Now, nobody necessarily goes into a darts match intending to mine for some McQuiggin's gold any more than a football team kicks off planning to wait until the 97th minute to score a winner. 

It’s much more comfortable to be able to take out a wee double 16 or tops after a few easy treble 20s and a big single, just like it's much more comfortable to score two or three early doors and see out the game in second gear.

Celtic haven't really done it that way this season, though, and Victoria Park on Thursday was no different.

Since their campaign really kicked into gear - acknowledged by most to have been the 1-0 win at Aberdeen on October 3 - Postecoglou's side have won 14 of 16 games, losing only to Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.

Celtic Way: Anthony Ralston wheels away after heading in the 97th-minute winnerAnthony Ralston wheels away after heading in the 97th-minute winner

Eight of the victories in that run have been by a one-goal margin. Part of that is down to a lack of clinical finishing but, for those of a glass-half-full persuasion, it equally shows a bit of mental fortitude. At some point it stops becoming a coincidence, doesn't it?

Going into the game against the Staggies there were plenty of problems to solve. All of them served to exacerbate Celtic's pre-existing squad depth issues and, when the starting line-up was announced, some additional questions were raised too.

Would Liel Abada be able to replicate much of what Kyogo Furuhashi brings to the central striker role? What impact would Josip Juranovic make playing at right wing for longer than a 15-minute spell? How would Liam Scales cope playing from the start against pacey wingers? Was it going to be the night Adam Montgomery really made his mark in a Celtic shirt? 

Admittedly, not all of those questions had positive answers.

Abada performed ably in his new role - first posited as a solution to a Kyogo injury back in September, for what it's worth - while Scales' defensive frailties were largely outweighed by his accomplished technical play.

Juranovic, for his part, played right wing like he plays full-back: composed and patient, but with a distinct reluctance to take a man on. As for Montgomery, well, the work-rate was there but beyond that let's just say no claim was staked ahead of Sunday's League Cup final against Hibernian.

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But despite the makeshift nature of the team, and what felt like a slight wobble for a bit after the County equaliser, it was never spray-and-pray tactics from Celtic in Dingwall. 

They overcame an intense early pressing game from Malky Mackay's Staggies in typical Postecoglou fashion, taking the lead when Abada turned in after McGregor had slipped in Scales for a cutback. 

The Celts probed consistently all night thereafter. Never quite at their scintillating best, they still tested County goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer even after losing Carl Starfelt to a harsh sending-off and, crucially, kept their cool until the last despite referee Alan Muir turning down a penalty claim late on.

McQuiggin's gold or not, though, all that really matters just now is that Celtic hit their checkout.

They all count, as they say, and this one did too. Perhaps as much in reinforcing and underlining the team spirit evident under Postecgolou as in the three Premiership points it brought with it. 

Now the Celtic boss will be channelling that spirit into ensuring Wednesday's McQuiggin's gold turns into Sunday's sterling silver.