JACK Ross was thrilled that St Mirren’s rivals faltered as his Buddies side continued their charge towards the Championship title after cruising past Queen of the South 3-1 at Palmerston.

With Livingston and Dundee United both drawing, it moved the Paisley side 12 points clear at the top with eight games remaining.

Ross said: “It’s a good day for us, we knew beforehand if we kept winning games then we can’t be stopped. But when you have the bonus of the teams around you dropping points it makes it a good day for us, and it couldn’t have been any better for us in that respect.”

Jack Leighfield went close to have a nightmare on the 16 minutes, the Queens’ the keeper looked to comfortably save Cammy Smith’s shot, but he fumbled the routine save, with it luckily bouncing over the bar.

But there was little he could do to save the next shot, as St Mirren opened the scoring on 17 minutes when Lewis Morgan, returning to the starting line-up after missing their last game due to tonsillitis, passed the ball to Danny Mullen, who fired home his first goal for the club.

But the Doonhamers came back into the game four minutes later, Jordan Marshall finding himself in space on the edge of the box before burying the ball in the bottom corner.

There was a warning for Saints 33 minutes in, John Rankin was afforded too much time and space in the middle of the park, as he dribbled the ball forward and was allowed to get off a shot, but the former Dundee United player dragged his effort just wide.

After a quiet spell in the game, the Buddies next effort came on 37 minutes. Mullen, looking to double his tally, tried to curl a shot in from the edge of the box, was unable to wrap it around enough to find the target.

Dom Thomas had a shot for the hosts just before half-time, but Samson saved well.

After a quiet end to the first half, the second period started in a much more lively fashion, and the visitors regained the lead seven minutes after the break.

Morgan curled his free-kick around the Queens’ wall from just outside the box, and buried it into the bottom corner of the net.

Ross’ side made sure the three points returned to Paisley when, following a lovely passing move, Ryan Flynn’s ball found Morgan, who backheeled it to Kyle Magennis and he put the the result to bed with a tidy finish into the bottom right-hand corner.

Magennis’ goal capped off a good week for the teenager coming off the back off a call-up to Scot Gemmill’s Under-21 squad to face Andorra on Friday.

Saints next game is at home to Dumbarton on Tuesday, kick-off is at 7.45pm.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Leighfield, Marshall, Fordyce, Cameron, Rankin, Lyle, Thomas, Thomson (Dykes, 70), Jacobs, Fergusson (Todorov, 69), Mercer. Subs not used: Lyle, Rooney, Brownlie, Murray, Beerman.

ST MIRREN: Samson, McGinn, MacKenzie, Magennis, Morgan, C Smith (McShane, 88), Baird, Flynn, L Smith, Mullen (Reilly, 80), Eckersley (Stelios, 49). Subs not used: Stewart, Donati, Sutton, Hippolyte.