RANGERS paid the penalty in the Glasgow Cup final as Celtic secured the silverware thanks to a shoot-out success at Ibrox. Once again, the bragging rights in the city will remain in the East End.

Celtic were three goals ahead and seemingly cruising to victory after storming into a commanding lead. It would go the distance, though, and it was only after a dramatic 4-3 triumph from 12 yards that the green and white ribbons could be attached to the trophy.

The corresponding fixture at Under-18 level last week turned into an eleven-goal thriller at Hampden as Celtic edged out their Old Firm rivals after extra time. This was slightly tame in comparison, but overall it was, as expected, a higher-quality affair and it certainly lived up to the occasion and the stage.

These sides were separated by a single point over the course of the Lowland League campaign as Rangers finished one place above the Hoops outfit that are managed by Stephen McManus.

There was no gulf between them here either. It was Celtic who had the upper hand after the first 45 minutes, though, as they edged the four goals that were scored.

The final one of the opening period was a penalty that Alex Lowry slotted home after Robbie Ure had been fouled by Mitchell Robertson. It was a moment that kept Rangers in the tie, that gave David McCallum’s side hope after it had looked to have vanished.

The failings of the B Team were familiar to those who have been left scunnered by the efforts of their counterparts in the Premiership this term. As a series of openings and good chances – two of which were dragged wide by Ure before Zak Lovelace fired over – were squandered, the danger was that Celtic would come into the encounter and punish the profligacy.

The opening goal was a defensive disaster for Rangers. Lewis MacKinnon tried and failed to usher the ball out of play and Robertson nipped in before squaring to Brooks as he finished emphatically.

Just minutes later, his second was even better. Rocco Vata was the man that punished Rangers on this occasion as he burst down the right flank and found Brooks in the area.

Keeper Lewis Budinauckas had no chance. It was a terrific finish from Brooks as he directed the ball into the top corner with pinpoint accuracy and ferocious pace.

When Celtic made it 3-0, it looked like game over. Lowry struck a free-kick into the green and white wall but it was the other main attraction on display that struck first as Vata, with boss Ange Postecoglou watching on from the stand, extended the lead.

Magnus MacKenzie made the most of a Kelsey Ewen error, found Brooks and he knocked it on again to the right channel. A near post finish capped a fine first half showing from Vata and Celtic.

The Hoops were comfortable and in control. Within two minutes of the restart, their advantage had been reduced as Bosun Lawal tied himself in knots trying to play out and Lovelace nipped in before slotting beyond Josh Clarke.

It was just the start that Rangers needed. Somehow, it wasn’t one that they could capitalise on and their pressure didn’t pay off.

Celtic were on the back foot for long periods but survived a handful of scares. The biggest let off came as Ure nodded the ball over from underneath the bar as a Lowry corner made it all the way through to the back post.

With 15 minutes remaining, Lowry’s evening came to an end and he was replaced by James Graham. It was a composed outing from the playmaker and he will hope that the valuable game time will allow him to push for a place in Michael Beale’s plans for the four Premiership outings that have still to be played this term.

The other attacking alteration that McCallum made paid off. Lovelace rattled the bar after a lovely turn and terrific effort and Tony Weston was on hand to complete the comeback.

There was no extra-time on this occasion as the fixture went straight to penalties. Ben Summers was first to blink as he scooped his effort high over the bar but Clarke saved from Ross McCausland and Graham.

Bruno Davidson was denied by Budinauckas and the tie went to sudden death. Captain Robbie Fraser saw his effort saved and Dylan Corr rattled the woodwork when he had the chance to win it.

Corey Thomson didn’t make the same mistake. Keeper Clarke shared the heroics as he saved from Ewen before Thomson secured the silverware from the spot.