Kris Boyd was the Hampden hero once again as Rangers ended a rollercoaster season on a high note by claiming the Scottish Cup with a 3-2 win over Queen of the South.
The striker set the ball rolling with the opener before DaMarcus Beasley put his injury hell firmly behind him with a goal of his own.
Brave Queens hit back through Steve Tosh and captain Jim Thomson but Boyd had the final say when he grabbed the winner to ensure the silverware would be heading back to Ibrox.
Boyd also played a crucial role in the CIS Insurance Cup triumph in March, twice hauling Rangers back into the game before netting the decisive penalty in a shoot-out against Dundee United, and his double today allowed him to take his tally to 25 for the season.
Rangers finally appeared to have run out of legs in the last 10 days of the season, losing the UEFA Cup final to Zenit St Petersburg and then the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title to Celtic on Thursday night.
In contrast, this was Queens' first game since finishing fourth in the Irn-Bru First Division 28 days ago - and a whopping 42 days since their dramatic 4-3 win over Aberdeen in the semi-finals.
Rangers manager Walter Smith needed one final push from his players in their 68th, and final, game of what had been an exhausting campaign and they obliged to salvage a cup double from what has truly been a remarkable season.
Smith made four changes from the side who lost to Aberdeen midweek and the most notable of those was the inclusion of Beasley, the USA international making his first start since sustaining knee ligament damage in a Champions League game back in November.
Sasa Papac was also named in the starting XI after recovering from a thigh strain, as were Boyd and Lee McCulloch. Christian Dailly and Steven Davis were among the substitutes while Daniel Cousin and Charlie Adam were dropped from the squad altogether.
Queens looked the more dangerous team going forward early on with Stephen Dobbie and Sean O'Connor causing problems for the SPL runners-up. Tosh also tried his luck but his long-ranger was comfortably held by Neil Alexander in the Rangers goal.
At the other end a long, low shot from Kevin Thomson flashed wide of Jamie MacDonald's left-hand post before Rangers really began to impose themselves on the match.
Boyd released Beasley into the box and he looked set to leave the net bulging only to rifle into the side-netting instead.
The roles were then reversed when Boyd met a Beasley cross eight yards out only to nod just over when it looked so much easier to score.
The breakthrough came after 32 minutes. Tosh gave away a free-kick for a foul on Beasley 25 yards out and Barry Ferguson played the ball short to Boyd to lash into the top right corner of the net.
Queen of the South then failed in their attempts to win a penalty after claiming Steven Whittaker had barged O'Connor off the ball but those pleas fell on deaf ears.
Rangers doubled their advantage instead three minutes before the break when Carlos Cuellar's header was missed by Thomson and Ryan McCann and broke kindly to Beasley to slide home from eight yards.
Just when Rangers must have thought their names were on the trophy, Gordon Chisholm's men pulled a goal back four minutes after the restart.
O'Connor skipped past Cuellar before cutting back into the path of Tosh to bundle home from the edge of the six-yard box and provide hope of a dramatic fight-back.
That proved to be the case when the battling Dumfries club hauled themselves level with 53 minutes gone.
A Papac foul on McCann proved costly when Robert Harris punted the resultant free-kick into the box and skipper Thomson was on hand to direct a header past Alexander.
Rangers could have restored their lead when Jean-Claude Darcheville released Beasley and he layed off a pass to the feet of Ferguson but the skipper fired straight into the keeper's arms.
It was left to Boyd to come to the rescue and he rose above everyone else in the box to meet Beasley's corner and send a header looping over the Queens goalkeeper after 71 minutes.
The striker could have then added to his tally for the day but, this time, his header was held by MacDonald after Thomson had delivered a teasing ball from the right.
In the end, Boyd's brace proved to be just enough to allow Rangers to finish the season with a cup double.
Rangers manager Walter Smith felt a sense of relief at claiming the Scottish Cup after being pushed all the way by Queen of the South.
The Ibrox side looked set for a comfortable win at Hampden thanks to
first-half goals from Kris Boyd and DaMarcus Beasley.
But goals from Steve Tosh and Jim Thomson allowed the plucky First Division
outfit to restore parity within eight minutes of the restart.
It was Boyd who came to the rescue of Rangers once again, having already
played a major role in the capture of the CIS Insurance Cup back in March, when
he claimed the decisive goal late on.
Losing this match was not an option for a team who had seen both the UEFA Cup
and the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title slip from their grasp in the last
Smith said: 'It's a little bit of a relief I must say after the amount of
football we've had over the last couple of months.
'It's obviously taken its toll a little as you could see today but I'm
delighted for all the players that we managed to win.
'After the disappointments of the last 10 days or so, this match was always
going to be a difficult one.'
Smith praised his players for rallying after losing two goals to win the game
- but feared a fightback would be beyond his exhausted players.
'I just wondered whether we would manage to do that again,' he said.
'We did do it and it was a big ask of them. We contributed a little bit
ourselves with the slackness at the start of the second half but it would have
been a shame if we had lost out because of that.
'It has been an extremely tough spell for everyone involved and we can be a
little bit happier than we were a few days ago.'
As far as Smith is concerned, nothing will make up for missing out on the UEFA
Cup and the SPL, but he was thrilled to end the season with a cup double all the
He said: 'We are delighted to have the two cups this season, it's at least
something tangible at the end of what has been an extremely good season for
'We are delighted we have managed to get them. It doesn't take away from the
disappointment we have suffered in the last few days but at least it gives us
something to be a bit happier about.
'I'm delighted for all the players. They did deserve something at the end of
the season, although I suppose Gordon will think that his team deserved that as
'We had a situation where we had a lot to overcome and I'm glad we managed to
Saturday's cup final was Rangers 68th game of the season, while Queens headed
into the match four weeks after their own league season ended, and manager
Gordon Chisholm believed rustiness was a factor early on.
He said: 'To be honest, I thought we didn't turn up in the first half and
that was disappointing. I would say that is the poorest we have played in a long
'In the second half we did much better and it was more like us. There are no
excuses but I think four weeks is a hell of a long time to have a break and for
the first 45 minutes we looked rusty and we looked as though we didn't have any
'We were constantly giving the ball away to Rangers. When you come in at 2-0
down at half-time against the Old Firm, you are dreading the fact that it could
be four or five and it could be embarrassing.'
However, when both teams were locked on two goals apiece, the Queens boss
thought his team were destined to nick the win and claim the trophy.
'The game could have gone either way,' he said.
'But, because of the effort we put in to get back into the game, it was just
a step too far. We were forced back and a wee bit of tiredness crept in.'
However, Chisholm insists extra-time would have benefited Queen of the South
more than Rangers' fatigued players.
He said: 'I would have liked to have gone to extra-time, I think that would
have been a real test for Rangers.
'With us getting the fresh legs on, I would have been quite happy to keep it
at 2-2 until the 90th minute and then see how they handled the extra half