Pre-match the talk was of laying down a marker for the season ahead.
But, unfortunately, on Saturday the only thing Dundee gave a lesson in was how not to defend.
It wasn’t a masterclass in attacking play from the home side that undid John Brown’s men. Instead it was defensive errors that helped gift victory to newly-promoted Queen of the South.
It had all started so well, too, with Peter MacDonald giving the Dark Blues the lead at a sun-drenched Palmerston.
But as the dark clouds formed off the park in Dumfries, they did the same on it.
The rest of the 90 was a one to forget for the side looking to kick their campaign off in style at the home of one of their biggest promotion rivals.
Goals from former Dens frontman Derek Lyle, Ryan McGuffie, Iain Russell and Michael Paton saw Queens go 4-1 up.
And, despite a rally in the final 10 minutes, which saw Declan Gallagher net and Iain Davidson poke home, Dundee couldn’t mount an unlikely, and probably slightly undeserved, comeback.
Sticking to his guns Bomber continued with the 3-5-2 which served him so well since February. Without Nicky Riley, Gavin Rae was the most advanced of the Dark Blues five.
Playing a high-pressing game, Dundee hunted in packs. The formation worked to a ‘t’ especially when Peter MacDonald popped up with the opener. A Kyle Benedictus free-kick allowed Carlo Monti to lay-off to the 32-year-old frontman who exquisitely bent home from 12 yards.
Without creating a lot, the home side began to take the sting out of Bomber’s boys. And, right on the break, Lyle did just that with a headed finish.
With the wind in their sails, the Second Division champions then ran amock. Davidson’s pull on Paton in the area was harshly deemed strong enough to award a penalty tucked away by McGuffie.
Then things went from bad to worse as some poor Benedictus defending allowed Russell the run of the left hand side. Taking his time the forward slotted under the body of Kyle Letheren.
On the break it was soon four as Paton cut in from the right and found the left-hand corner of Letheren’s net.
The visitors then rallied as Gallagher headed home a Jim McAlister corner, then Davidson capitalised on a keeper error to set up a tense final few minutes.
But the comeback, which would’ve flattered Dundee, proved a step too far.
Come May you’d expect both to be in the promotion mix. So, on balance, a narrow loss isn’t the end of the world.