QUEENS, who were crowned Irn-Bru Second Division champions in midweek, the first club in Britain to win a title, were in party mood from the start, with the fans flying championship winning flags and decked out in the prerequisite silly hats and the tannoy belting out various versions of We Are the Champions.
Scorers: Queen of the South - Durnan 16; Lyle 73; Brechin City - Trouten 75 pen
The atmosphere was nothing more than expected or indeed deserved by the Dumfries club after such a sensational season under Allan Johnston.
The only thing that was missing was the Championship trophy, that won’t be presented until after the last home game of the season when East Fife come visiting on 27 April.
Johnston said: “It is difficult to break down teams when they sit with five across the back. It spoiled the game. I wouldn’t want to watch that, but now we’ve got the Ramsdens Cup final to look forward to and points records to break.”
Queens wasted no time in getting the party started when they took the lead after 16 minutes. Chris Mitchell swung a corner over from the left which was headed down by Chris Higgins for fellow defender Mark Durnan, pictured above, to turn into the net from six yards.
Brechin, who had only won once at Palmerston in the past 16 years, should have levelled on the half hour mark when Stephen McKenna let Ryan Stewart through on goal, but his first time shot crashed off the crossbar.
Queens might have eased any worries of anything other than a victory on “celebration day” on the hour mark when Derek Lyle’s head flick came back off a post just three minutes after coming off the bench. Lyle finally got Queens’ second in 73 minutes volleying in a Mitchell corner, but Brechin bounced back two minutes later when Alan Trouten scored from the spot after Durnan tripped Andy Jackson.
Incredibly, Queens finished with nine men – Stephen McKenna and Willie Gibson limping off injured after all three substitutes had been used.
Brechin boss Ray McKinnon said: “It was disappointing not to take anything from the game, they’re not champions for no reason. We have beaten everyone else except Queens.”