Peterhead crowned League 2 champions as Jack Leitch double earns victory over Queen’s Park

Jack Leitch scored in Peterhead's title decider against Queen's Park.
Jack Leitch scored in Peterhead's title decider against Queen's Park.

Jack Leitch’s brace crowned Peterhead as League 2 champions as they cruised to the title with victory over Queen’s Park.

Three points would secure the championship they last won five years ago and Leitch’s first-half double put Jim McInally’s side in complete control.

Queen’s Park offered little in the way of a threat and were deservedly beaten at Hampden Park, as the Blue Toon ensured there was no repeat of last year’s play-off heartache by getting their hands on the title.

Clyde, the only team that could pip Peterhead to automatic promotion, were beaten 2-1 at Cowdenbeath in what was the icing on the cake for the Balmoor outfit.

Leitch, who scored the opening goal against Stirling Albion a week ago, nearly repeated the feat early on, burrowing his shot under the sprawling Jordan Hart. Celebration turned to confusion as referee Steven Reid chalked the goal off and booked Ryan Dow for diving, who had tumbled to the Hampden turf in the build-up.

Rory McAllister fashioned a couple of half-chances but was forced to drift wide often, with the support in the box not coming in time.

But nerves were settled with 26 minutes on the clock as Jamie Stevenson’s cross from the right was headed in at the back post by Leitch, notching his 10th of the season.

Peterhead’s Jack Leitch scores to make it 2-0.

Kieran Moore headed Ciaran Summers’ cross wide of Greg Fleming’s goal in the Spiders’ only opportunity of the opening period, with Willie Gibson finding the chest of Hart from 30 yards.

Breathing space was achieved two minutes before the break as Scott Brown exchanged passes with Dow and squared across the face of goal for Leitch, who slid home.

McAllister had a goal disallowed in first-half stoppage-time, ruled offside after he reacted quickest to Hart parrying Stevenson’s long-range strike.

Cowdenbeath twice going in front against Clyde meant the pressure was never really applied to the Blue Toon, who showed little of the nerves that handed Peter MacDonald his goal a week ago.

Leitch celebrates his second goal.

Dow and McAllister were taken off to warm applause with 10 minutes to go, as the strong travelling support showed their appreciation for two key figures in their title charge.

The closing stages were comfortable for the visitors, who secured their return to the third tier of Scottish football after two years away.