A magnificent strike on the brink of half-time, amidst a strong team performance, ensured a memorable Palmerston return for Queen of the South talisman, Stephen Dobbie.
After a frenetic start, which saw the ball in the air far too often, Derek Lyle fired the home side in front. The veteran striker twisted and weaved before unleashing a snapshot from a tight angle – on the edge of the six yard box – to leave Greg Fleming helpless.
Ayr pushed hard for an equaliser and new signing Gary Harkins came close midway through the first half, beating two defenders before firing just wide under pressure from home goalkeeper Lee Robinson. Ross Docherty then had a great 22 yard strike chalked-off for offside.
At the other end, Dobbie showed magnificent footwork to tee up Grant Anderson, whose shot was blocked by Fleming.
With his young sons watching him in a Queens shirt for the first time, Dobbie was clearly enjoying his Dumfries return after a long sojourn in the English leagues and he scored shortly before half-time, side-stepping two red-shirted opponents before firing home from 25 yards.
Lyle’s second – his 99th for the Palmerston club – was a superb 20-yard free kick which he curled over the walleight minutes after the break.
Kevin Nisbet fired in a delightful strike from the edge of the “D” on the hour mark to reduce the deficit.
But an assured finish from young Australian striker Lyndon Dykes ensured Queens wrapped up the points in style.