Partick Thistle 2 Stenhousemuir 1
DAVID ROWSON started the season as he finished the last as he fired in a spectacular goal which outshone everything else on a sunny day at Firhill.
Thistle booked their place in the second round of the Ramsdens Cup - formerly the Alba Cup - as they saw off David Irons' Warriors in the blazing summer heat.
And Jags skipper Rowson got his own campaign off to the best possible start when he opened the scoring with a neat 20-yard effort which beat Chris McCluskey in the Stenny goal.
Afterwards Rowser admitted: "There was a tiny deflection but I'm just glad to get on the scoresheet.
"The gaffer wants me to get forward from midfield more and hopefully I can pitch in with a few more goals.
"My best for the season is five so lest see if I can match that."
Thistle opened slowly as Stenny - with six ex-Jags in their line-up - began the match like a side desperate for an early season scalp.
But it was McClusky who was the first of the two keepers to be called into action when he saved a Tommy Stewart effort low to his left.
Rowson opened the scoring in 20 minutes when he wriggled free of his marker on the edge of the box and beat McCluskey with the aid of a deflection.
From this point on the Jags took control of the match. But they did so without causing McCluskey many problems as Stewart and Kris Doolan were off target with efforts from distance.
Jackie McNamara elected to send out the same 11 for the start of the second period and Thistle continued to command the majority of possession as they searched for a second goal.
Ian Flannigan saw a smart shot saved by McCluskey but the home support were growing restless as Doolan sent another effort wide after 51 minutes.
And it could have been a whole lot worse for the Jags faithful five minutes later had Scott Fox not saved Stewart Kean's shot on goal.
Stenny had finally forced their way back into the match and Stewart Kean should have levelled after 75 minutes but his effort was too high.
Thus it was a relief to all inside the Jackie Husband Stand when Tommy Stewart finally extended Partick's precarious lead on 81 minutes.
The Irishman accepted a ball from Stuart Bannigan before hammering a low shot past McCluskey to make it 2-0.
Still there was time for Thistle to give their fans a scare though. Miscommunication allowed Kean to get on the end of a left wing cross and he converted past Fox from six yards.
Fox then had to save from another Kean effort as Thistle held out nervously to book their place in the second round.