MORTON Under-20s lost their Development League West Championship to Queen of the South after a 4-0 defeat to the Doonhamers’ teens at Palmerston Park.
Ton held the title last season and travelled to Dumfries in the hope of preventing Queens from stealing their crown — but left with a sense of disappointment.
First-team squad men Jamie McGowan, Jamie McDonagh and Jon Scullion started from kick-off for Andy Millen’s side, in a bid to strengthen their chances of victory.
But it took just 20 minutes for the hosts to open the scoring, making things all the more difficult for Ton to claw themselves back into title contention.
Ross Fergusson rattled in the opener for Queens before Scullion whipped a free-kick just past the post and then Thomas Orr was denied a penalty kick right on half-time.
McGowan produced a terrific save to keep out Aidan Smith from point-blank range before the forward eventually doubled his side lead a minute later with a header from close range.
Queens strengthened their stranglehold on the game with a third from the boot of Connor Murray before he netted his brace within a minute of his first.
Ton were well beaten by this point and had their crossbar to thank for keeping Scott Norman from adding some extra gloss on the scoreline for the hosts.