Famously, Queen of the South are the only football team whose name appears in the Bible. It's a synonym for the queen of Sheba. As far as Dumbarton are concerned, however, Queens certainly didn't appear to have read the script, romping to a 5-1 victory on an intermittently sunny and rainy Saturday afternoon in Dumfies.
This really was a stroll in Palmerston Park for the First Division side, who were two-nil up at half time and claimed another three after the break, punctuated by a beautifully worked and very well-taken goal from Sons' Derek Carcary.
At the beginning of the second period, Dumbarton started to play some, attractive flowing football, but could not find a way through the Doonhamers' defence. After conceding the third goal to Queens they powered back, and following Carcary's fine strike on 58 minutes (shades of his two wonder goals in the friendly against Dunfermline) it looked for a short while as if a revival was in swing. But number four from Kenny Brannigan's side was definitely 'game over', and the fifth goal almost academic.
This is the third season in a row where Sons have taken a pasting from higher league opposition in the the Co-operative Insurance Cup. The real controversy in this one surrounded the penalty given against Dumbarton on 27 minutes, which effectively killed the game off. According to the BBC this was for a trip. But the referee clearly signalled a handball, and it seems that Ben Gordon was the culprit. Then again, Sons fans with an unimpeded view (myself included) were sure they saw a Queens player get his mitt to the ball - and Derek Holmes looked duly sheepish for a moment, before sweeping the ball into the net for his brace. It's safe to say that referee Brian Winter will not be on any Dumbarton Christmas card lists this year. He enjoyed a distinctive line in verbal encouragment from the Sons' faithful for the rest of the match.
The photograph, by the way, shows Dumbarton warming up before the game. It was only after the kick-off that things started to go downhill.
Ah, well. We all hoped the season would start with a flourish in Dumfies. We were wrong. It really kicks off against Forfar Athletic at Station Park on Saturday 7 August. I'll be down in London that weekend, sadly, but duly re-installed at SHS for the opening home game against Livingston the following week. Can't wait.