Feb 16 (Reuters) - A hat-trick from Denmark midfielder Lasse Schoene propelled leaders Ajax Amsterdam to a 3-0 victory over Heerenveen in the Dutch league on Sunday.
Schoene's goal haul included two penalties in six first-half minutes as Ajax went four points clear.
The 27-year-old converted his spot-kicks in the 12th and 18th minutes before completing his first treble in Dutch football with eight minutes to go.
Third-placed Feyenoord's title hopes were dented when they were held 1-1 at mid-table NAC Breda, dropping seven points behind Ajax.
The visitors grabbed the lead midway through the first half through Daryl Janmaat but Rydell Poepon equalised for NAC from the penalty spot eight minutes before the break after Miquel Nelom handled.
NAC finished the game with 10 men after Croatian striker Stipe Perica was sent off late on.
Mid-table Groningen secured a first win in 2014 as they edged Go Ahead Eagles 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Tjaronn Chery while struggling Cambuur beat PEC Zwolle 3-1. (Reporting by Nick Said in Cape Town, editing by Tony Jimenez; firstname.lastname@example.org +27832722948 Messaging email@example.com; To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click on https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/global_sports_forum)