Two worlds collided. It was an explosive and enthralling spectacle to behold. Kris Boyd was, somewhat predictably, Rangers' comet. A throwback Scottish Cup final was determined by a vintage poacher sporting an anachronistic moustache.

Queen of the South, a team that has twiddled its thumbs for nearly four weeks since the end of the Irn-Bru First Division, suffered from a bizarre bout of beginners' nerves in their first major final in their 89-year history. Rangers, by contrast, did not so much prepare for the final as arrive at it like a stag party recovering from a two-day hangover only to realise the wedding was cancelled.

The Dumfries men returned from their extended holidays at 4pm on Saturday afternoon and discovered that they were saddled with excess baggage. Boyd and DaMarcus Beasley added freshness to a stagnant Rangers side. More importantly for Walter Smith, they added the early goals. The favourites did not so much race into the lead as trot home two goals against sun-tanned, horizontal mannequins.

Then, an amazing transformation took place. Rangers remembered the toll of an anti-climactic campaign and Queen of the South remembered they had a cup-final to play. Their reaction was engrossing.

Having half-expected to perform a 45-minute keep-ball exercise, Rangers sagged as the minnows fetched their buckets and spades and dug their way out of trouble. Steve Tosh instigated what would have been an improbable comeback to those who did not have the privilege of watching their scintillating semi-final triumph against Aberdeen.

Jim Thomson then lent credence to the revival. The ferocious-looking 37-year-old centre-back thumped home an equaliser that few were brave enough to argue with.

Certainly not Carlos Cuellar, the normally unflappable Spaniard who has flapped like coat-tails in the wind in his last two outings of the season.

Boyd was fated to decide the outcome of the match for various reasons. Firstly, he hauled himself off the bench to salvage the CIS Insurance Cup against a superior Dundee United with two goals and the decisive penalty in the shootout. Secondly, he contributed virtually nothing other than his two goals. Indeed, his rapport with Jean-Claude Darcheville was as enchanting as a bottle of Rapport, the after- shave that, much like Boyd's ridiculous moustache, was last popular in the early 1980s.

Thirdly, he is an objectionable sort these days. The club's top goalscorer with 25 goals in all competitions has also been the last-choice striker for much of the season. His two goals, less than 48 hours after Rangers' championship challenge crumbled, prompted the debate: what if Smith had persevered with the laborious looking larcenist all season? Boyd would certainly have been in better shape, but it remains doubtful that Rangers' final league position would have.

Fourthly? Oh, this could conceivably have been Boyd's last game for the club. He has failed to impress both Paul Le Guen and Walter Smith. Alex McLeish, the Birmingham manager, who signed him from Kilmarnock for £400,000, will be at the head of any queue.

New recruits are inevitable between now and June 24, when the squad will reconvene for pre-season training. In the meantime, the rest will reflect on a season that yielded half of the baubles that were tantalisingly within grasp only a fortnight ago. The big ones, namely the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and the UEFA Cup, have gone. A cup double will suffice simply because, after two barren seasons, it will have to.

Beasley's return from serious knee surgery brought zest to a team counting zeds. A crude challenge from Andy Aitken on the American gave Boyd his first sight at goal. Barry Ferguson teed up the striker for a strike that was as clean and true as a 3-iron off the tee. It fizzed past Jamie MacDonald straight into the top left-hand corner of the goalkeeper's net.

Beasley then benefited from some impromptu head tennis before the intermission, stroking a left-foot shot that would have harmlessly pinged MacDonald's right leg had he not inexplicably let the ball run under his outstretched foot.

There was no half-time tirade from Gordon Chisholm, Queens' impressive manager, just a gentle nudge that embarrassment beckoned. Tosh and Neil MacFarlane, a pair of old troopers, seemed reinvigorated. MacFarlane swept diligently in front of Jim Thomson as Tosh began to burrow through an unusually accommodating Rangers defence.

Sean O'Connor shone brightest for Queens until he ran aground in the final 20 minutes. By then, he supplied the cross that was dispatched unconventionally beyond Neil Alexander by Tosh and caused a general tizzy. The repair job was complete four minutes later. Robert Harris' free-kick sought out Jim Thomson's forehead and a goal was inevitable, even before he connected.

For a 15-minute spell the minnows preyed on Sasa Papac and Steven Whittaker, a surprise choice at right-back ahead of Kirk Broadfoot. The increased efforts would only produce chronic fatigue. Cue Boyd's triumphant thump from a Kevin Thomson corner.

Rangers' celebrations were subdued, mindful of the greater prizes that had eluded them. A cup double remains a creditable feat for hard work alone.