Partick Thistle title bridges nine-year gap

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Partick Thistle clinched the Irn-Bru First Division title with a 2-0 success at Falkirk and Firhill will host SPL football next season for the first time since 2004.

Alan Archibald’s men made their breakthrough five minutes into the second half when Andy Dowie, who joined at the end of last month after being made redundant at Dunfermline, headed home a Forbes corner.

Falkirk were denied a leveller by the woodwork when Jay Fulton crashed a free kick off the bar. However, the championship was sealed 12 minutes from time. Chris Erskine darted through a series of Falkirk challenges before curling past Michael McGovern to get the party started.

Archibald said afterwards: “A point would have seen us champions but it was great to do it in a bit of style. We were nervous in the goalless draw with Raith last Tuesday but much more relaxed in this game.

“I told the players to make sure they enjoyed the moment for as long as possible. Next week we will get the trophy and that will be another great day.”

The Firhill squad could not resist a cheeky dig at anyone who did not think they were man enough for the job by donning T-shirts proclaiming “Kids v Experience – We Got This”.

Archibald explained their actions by saying: “People in the press, other teams and their managers wrote us off, but we kept our reply in house. The T-shirts were the players’ way of getting their message over.”

Defeated Falkirk manager Gary Holt said: “Partick are a good side but there was not much between us in terms of technical ability, especially in the first half which was pretty tight.”

Morton did all they could to keep their title challenge going with a 2-0 win at Livingston, but it was not to be. Colin McMenamin set up the opener for Archie Campbell just before half-time and Kyle Wilkie grabbed the second ten minutes after the restart when he waltzed through the home defence before netting past Darren Jamieson.

At the bottom of the table, troubled Dunfermline could pull off the great escape after defeating Fife rivals Cowdenbeath 1-0 to move into the safety of eighth place on goal difference.

The only goal at East End Park came 20 minutes from time from the penalty spot when Steven Husband netted after Blue Brazil substitute Kyle Miller brought down the home side’s Alan Smith.

The Pars’ win means that Dumbarton are still not safe despite their 4-1 success over relegated visitors Airdrie. Captain Andy Graham bravely headed in the opener for the Sons after just six minutes and Paul McGinn shot home via a post just before the break.

Steven MacDougall’s low shot three minutes later slipped away from replacement goalkeeper Kenny Arthur to make it 3-0 with the Diamonds pulling a goal back when Gregor Buchanan rose to head home a corner.

The Sons wrapped things up when Scott Agnew thumped home their fourth from eight yards out with 16 minutes left.

Hamilton defeated Raith Rovers 2-0 with Stevie May curling in the opener seven minutes into the second half and substitute Andy Ryan netting the second two minutes into injury time.