MORTON Under-20s were last night crowned 2015-16 Development League West champions after drawing 1-1 with second-placed Ayr United at Cappielow.

Sat six points clear at the league summit with just two games left to play, Andy Millen’s Ton kids required just one point from their penultimate game of the campaign.

And talented frontman Jon Scullion set them on the path to the title when he opened the scoring with 14 minutes on the clock.

Receiving a pass infield from right-back John Tennent, the 21-year-old checked onto his left foot and let fly with a low drive from 25 yards.

There seemed little danger of the ball ending up in the net until Ayr goalkeeper Shaun Newman took a step to his left only to be caught out as the effort swerved past him down to his right.

No sooner had Scullion finished celebrating his 12th goal of the season for the second string than his night had been ended by a late tackle.

It was just three minutes after breaking the deadlock that a kick to the back of his right leg left the diminutive striker in a crumpled heap before he hobbled off the park.

Scullion would later leave the stadium on crutches with the full extent of his injury still to be diagnosed, although he was hopeful he wouldn’t be out of action for too long.

Greenock-born striker Alex McWaters was sent on in his stead and would go on to make an eventful substitute appearance.

On 42 minutes, he left Thomas Orr, able to play for the 20s due to the fact he is on a development loan at East Stirling, a frustrated figure when he applied a final touch to his goal-bound effort.

Orr’s looping header from a Tennent cross looked set to land in the net when McWaters nodded in from close range to make doubly sure — only to be flagged offside.

Millen’s men went in at the break leading, but this was as nervy as they had been all season, likely due to the sense of occasion and playing in front of a healthy crowd packed into the main stand.

The usual fluency that characterises their entertaining attacking play was absent as they often went from back to front in a safety-first approach brought on by the fear of making a costly mistake.

One moment of magic came right off the first-team playbook, though, when Scott Tiffoney and Jai Quitongo worked a familiar short-corner routine on 53 minutes.

Taker Tiffoney received Quitongo’s disguised return, breezed inside down the bye-line and squeezed an angle shot at goal, which Newman did well to push wide.

Home custodian Jamie McGowan was then called upon three times in quick succession as the Honest Men stepped up their search for an equaliser.

Two were relatively straightforward stops, but a smart parry low to his left to deny Craig McGuffie was an important save that drew applause from an appreciative support.

The Somerset Park side were handed the lifeline they needed when, on 78 minutes, McWaters felled James Hilton with a mistimed tackle just inside the box.

Ryan Nisbet stepped up and sent McGowan the wrong way from 12 yards, stroking the ball inside the right-hand post while the Ton goalkeeper went in the opposite direction.

It all made for a fraught final 12 minutes in which there was added drama due to a couple of lengthy stoppages for injury, one of which saw Tennent leave the field dazed after suffering a head knock.

But after a full 10 minutes of added time the final whistle blew to confirm the Ton as deserved league champions after a hugely impressive campaign.

Although the players were not presented with their trophy on the night — they host Airdrie on Thursday evening in their final fixture —  it didn’t stop the celebrations from kicking off.

Chants of ‘Championees!’ rang out from a rocking home dressing room as the title party got into full swing.

Morton (4-4-2): McGowan; Tennent (Hynes, 90+5), Mitchell, Irvine, Strapp; Quitongo, Langan ©, Cairnie, Tiffoney; Scullion (McWaters, 18), Orr.
Subs not used: Duffy, McLennan (gk). Booked: McWaters (69).