Hearts saw off Queen of the South in what was a party atmosphere at Tynecastle this afternoon, winning 2-0.
Goals in either half from Osman Sow and Alim Ozturk meant that celebrations continued long after the final whistle as the Jambos begin to look forward to life back in the top league.
Robbie Neilson stuck with the same side that put three past Falkirk without reply last week, as the Championship winners emerged to rapturous applause from the stands at a packed Tynecastle.
With their first attack of the game, the men in maroon opened the scoring. Sow spun away from his man before driving into the Queens box and firing low past the despairing Alexander Clark. First blood Hearts after only seven minutes.
The big Swede was terrorising the visitors’ defence and on 15 minutes he again twisted his way into the box before blasting into the side netting.
The always impressive Miguel Pallardo was pulling the strings in the middle of the park. In the 35th minute he threaded through Callum Paterson, but his cross into the middle just evaded Billy King before Queens cleared the danger.
Clark pulled off an outstanding save a mniute before half-time. Jamie Walker cut the ball back from the byeline for Genero Zeefuik to back-heel goalwards, but the Queens ‘keeper flung himself to his right to claw it off the line.
Queen of the South nearly got back on level terms after the restart when Mark Millar’s long-range free-kick swerved and was parried by Neil Alexander, but Derek Lyle’s blushes were spared after a horror miss from six yards out as he was flagged for offside.
Pallardo’s partner in crime Moragro Gomis was dominating proceedings in the middle. He burst away from three white shirts on 57 minutes before feeding King on the right, but he cut in and blasted over the bar from the edge of the box.
Up next was Walker. He danced into the Queens box and fired a shot that looked to be creeping in until it was deflected wide by the face of visiting defender.
It was 2-0 after 68 minutes, thanks to a slice of good fortune. Walker was fouled 25 yards out and Ozturk stepped up to rattle home another long-ranger, via a heavy deflection from the wall.
With that, the game was over and celebrations began as the team performed a lap of honour. The countdown now begins to the end of the season and the trophy presentation.
Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis, Walker, King (Nicholson, 58'), Pallardo, Sow (El Hassnaoui, 75'), Zeefuik (Keatings, 68'), Eckersley. Subs: Gallacher, McHattie, Anderson, McKay.
Queen of the South: Clark, Holt, Dowie, Durnan, Higgins, Millar (Kidd, 68'), Reilly, McKenna (McShane, 63'), Paton, Carmichael, Lyle (A. Smith, 81'). Subs: Atkinson, Pickard, D.Smith, Hooper.
Referee: Craig Thomson
Top man: Danny Wilson