Ayr United stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches as Queen of the South slumped to a third consecutive defeat.
The home side took the lead midway through the first half when Tam McManus chipped goalkeeper David Hutton and into the top corner.
Two goals in the last 11 minutes sealed a comfortable victory for the Somerset Park team.
Substitute Danny McKay's right-foot shot deflected past Hutton before Mark Roberts made it three with a penalty.
Leon Knight had looked lively for Queens in the opening stages, creating a couple of half-chances, but it was Ayr who forged ahead with McManus' fifth goal of the season.
Hutton made it easy for him to chip into the top corner after Roberts had played a neat ball through from the wing.
There were some meaty tackles flying in from both sides, the second half littered with bookings and substitutions.
The Palmerston side introduced trialist Sean O'Connor in a hope they could get back into it, but it was the Ayr substitute who extended their lead as McKay's shot from 19 yards was deflected into the top corner by Marc McAusland.
With four minutes left, it was game over as McKay latched on to a Marvin Andrews pass back and was sandwiched between Andrews and Hutton in the box.
Referee Gary Hilland pointed to the spot and Roberts took a long run before drilling it low past Hutton into the bottom corner.
Ayr: Samson, Keenan, Lafferty, Campbell, Andrew Aitken, McGowan, Borris (McKay 63), Bowey, Easton (Kenneth Connolly 29), McManus (Mendes 66), Roberts. Subs Not Used: Grindlay, Billy Gibson.
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