Caley Thistle made it six wins in a row but all credit to Queens’ nine men who fought like terriers. Paul Ritchie scored the first of three in six minutes when he took a Dennis Wyness pass in the box and touched it past Andy Goram with a neat flick. Goram then touched over a low ball from Wyness and blocked a Roy McBain shot with his legs. Robbie Nielson made a strong run into the home area in 12 minutes but Barry Robson saved the day with a fine tackle. In 24 minutes Robson took a free kick from wide right and Ritchie’s low header went past the post. The Queens’ defensive formation stood up to Caley Thistle’s pressure then they scored on the break in 37 minutes. A header from the left was met by the raised foot of Sean O’Connor at the back post. The ball went into the net but the assistant referee had his flag up. All expected a free kick for a high boot but after consultation the goal was given. Goram tipped over a Robson long shot in 41 minutes then two minutes later McBain was bundled in the box and a penalty given. Robson blasted it past Goram for 2-1. A straight red card on the whistle saw Peter Weatherson off for a bad foul on McBain. A second yellow for diving sent Brian McColligan to the dressing room in 48 minutes then a magnificent 20 yard strike from Robson made it 3-1. It should have been an easy win after that against nine men but O’Connor scored from close range in 53 minutes, after a fine run by Derek Lyle, to reduce the deficit to 3-2. In 59 minutes Ritchie scored the fourth with a low angled shot from just inside the box after a fine pass from McBain. Liam Keogh hit the post in 66 minutes after intense pressure but Queens grabbed another lifeline in 73 minutes when Robson brought down Nielson to concede a penalty. John O’Neil had only just come on before he took the penalty and scored. Goram touched over a Bobby Mann free kick in 83 minutes. Queens just would not lie down and they set up a scramble following a corner with four minutes left – this could easily have led to a 4-4 scoreline but with a minute left Ritchie completed his hat trick. Robson drove the ball in from the left, Goram parried and Ritchie hit it into the roof of the net. A welcome three points, a hat trick for Ritchie, second place consolidated and an amazing match.