GOOD things come to those who wait.

If Carlsberg did cup final finishes . . . Either slogan would be equally suited for The Ramsdens Cup final yesterday. It was a terrific advert for the lower leagues' trophy event – eventually.

The meeting between two of the Scottish Football League's most impressive sides in Livingston promised much, and proved as exhilarating as anticipated but it was only after the 90 minutes had elapsed that the action truly fizzed over.

When it all calmed down, it was Queen of the South who were victorious, toasting goalkeeper Lee Robinson's penalty save from Conrad Balatoni which defeated Partick Thistle in the shoot-out and giving some company to the Irn-Bru Second Division title which already is in the Palmerston trophy cabinet.

For much of a low-key, scrappy affair, there was no hint of the late drama that included a missed penalty, red card, last-gasp equaliser and high quality shoot-out all unfolding in front of a dis-believing, exasperated crowd.

Neither side has been shy in front of goal this season but both picked the showpiece to have an off day.

Ninety goalless minutes preceded a remarkable finale.As the clock ticked into triple figures, the scoreboard was finally called into action. Danny Carmichael, Queen of the South's winger, thought he had given his side the lead when his delicate chip came back off the bar, but Nicky Clark was on hand to head the rebound home from a couple of yards out. It was the 34th goal of the campaign for the striker and his side's 100th in a dominant season.

Things became frantic for Thistle during the second period of extra-time. Christie Elliot dragged a shot wide, Robinson parried a Ross Forbes free-kick to safety, and each unsuccessful Thistle attempt brought a sigh of relief from the Doonhamers' support. Eventually, they breathed easily, but only after the most dramatic of finishes.

Thistle were given a lifeline as Marc Fitzpatrick fouled Elliot with seconds remaining but Aaron Muirhead's penalty was saved by Robinson. The Thistle defender then saw red for butting Chris Higgins, the Dumfries side's captain, as a melee erupted inside the area.

The cup still wasn't won, however, as Kris Doolan turned the ball into the net at the back post with the final kick of two hours of football. It sent the Thistle fans into delirium and the match to penalties, once the Jags' support which stormed the pitch returned to the stands.

From the shoot-out, Robinson finally emerged as the hero, saving from Stephen O'Donnell and, after 13 spot-kicks between the sides, Conrad Balatoni to bring the curtain down on an extraordinary afternoon.

It had all begun so mundane. Defences were on top as both teams struggled to find their attacking rhythm. Chances were few and far between, with even the most reliable of finishers proving profligate.

Clark has grabbed the headlines for Allan Johnston's side this term, his scoring exploits and performances worthy of a step up from the third tier next season but he spurned a glorious chance at the back post after Chris Mitchell's corner was flicked on by Mark Durnan.

Thistle breathed a sigh of relief but didn't make the most of their let-off, with chances proving hard to come by for the normally swashbuckling Jags. The forward line of Steven Craig, Steven Lawless and Chris Erskine should have contained enough attacking prowess but only Erskine lasted the distance on a rare off day.

Despite Elliot and Doolan entering the fray, Robinson remained relatively untroubled in the Doonhamers' goal.

Thistle could have stolen it at the death, though, Doolan spinning on the edge of the area and getting his shot away under pressure. Robinson got a touch, the ball trickled towards goal but, agonisingly for the Jags fans in the North Stand, inches wide of the post.

It was that, and those later saves in additional time, which had glasses raised in Dumfries last night.