Partick Thistle did not require any of the late drama that was on show at Firhill on Tuesday night as they eased their way into the semi-final of the Championship play-offs after an emphatic win - 8-3 on aggregate - over Queen’s Park.

Goals from Brian Graham and Scott Tiffoney before the half-hour mark thumped the wind out of Owen Coyle’s side. They knew the game, the tie and the season was gone way before Thistle rubbed salt in the wound with a third from Kevin Holt four minutes before the break. Danny Mullen’s goal as they game drew painfully to a close for Queen’s Park simply added another layer of humiliation. 

Having spent so much of the Championship season in a commanding position it is difficult not to draw the conclusion that Queen’s Park crumbled in the concluding months of the campaign as they toiled to cope with the mental pressure of the run-in.

They will rue the ones that got away - the evening in March when Arbroath claimed a late 1-0 to win to stop them opening up what would have been a seven-point lead at the top of the table, albeit Dundee at that stage still had a game in hand springs to mind - and their response next term will be interesting.

As they lick their wounds from a campaign that promised so much and has delivered so little, Partick Thistle will feel that, by contrast, they timed their run pretty well as they set up a semi-final Championship play-off with Ayr United, the first leg of which is at Firhill this Friday night.

Certainly, they will go into it with a spring in their step after the manner in which they dismantled Queen’s Park last night. There was verve and an energy about Thistle aided by the craft of Steven Lawless in the middle of the park while Kyle Turner, Tiffoney and Brian Graham were a persistent menace to the host’s backline. 

Thistle were backed by a noisy travelling support behind the Queen’s Park goal which had the effect of lending Thistle the feel of a home game such was their support. It is something that has worked against Queen’s Park this term, most notably last weekend against Dundee as the Dens Park side claimed the title. They will look forward to heading to their own home next season.

Kris Doolan had urged his side to show the same aggression and energy that they had finished a pulsating first-leg with and he got what he wanted.

Prior to the opener, however, it might have been a different night had Queen’s Park opened the scoring and levelled the tie. Jake Davidson, who had been introduced at the last minute into the starting line-up after a warm-up injury for Jack Thomson, had two bites at the cherry as he had a shot repelled by Thistle keeper David Mitchell who had come off his line but the ball broke kindly for the midfielder for a second effort that was hacked off the line by Darren Brownlie.

Thistle upped the ante as they forced a series of corners with the opener coming from Turner’s delivery on the 15-minute mark. Graham cushioned a sweet right-foot volley with the inside of his boot into the bottom corner to give Thistle the lead and start the show. 

It palpably flattened Queen’s Park as Thistle looked to take control. There was a tame effort from Aaron Healy from the edge of the box that did little to trouble Jags keeper Mitchell before Thistle turned the screw.

It was a fine passing move for the second of the night that cut open the Spiders defence with Lawless at the heart of the move. His ball out to Jack McMillan was squared across the six-yard box for Tiffoney to spear his effort well beyond Ferrie to double Thistle’s lead.

A third came shortly after. A Ross Docherty cross was met by the head of Graham and while his effort was palmed away by Ferrie, Holt had anticipated a rebound and gratefully took the luck of the ball bouncing off his shin and looping into the net.
Queen’s Park rang the changes at the break with a trio of substitutes but by that point all was gone. 

Tiffoney ought to have made it four when he aimed an effort straight at Ferrie but it was was simply a delay. Mullen claimed that one when Cammy Smith’s effort from the edge of the box took a deflection, was parried by Ferrie but met by Mullen who bundled it over the line.

All eyes now on Friday. 

Doolan - in the dugout just days after the passing of his father - said of an emotional night:  “There was never any doubt I would be in the dug out. It’s what my dad would have wanted. He was a big Partick Thislte fan just lie me.

“Nobody wants to see us do well more than me or him.

“He followed us everywhere when I played, he wanted me here tonight. He watched the game the other night and I was with him just after it. 

“So it’s a big thank you for the manner the players went about things because it could have been one of those games they get dragged into the occasion. But I felt their minds were set to put on a performance.

“It was a fitting tribute. There’s no better tonic than watching us pay like that.

“He would be proud of the players and the club because everyone has come together. “

Coyle commented: "It is a young group. They will have learned so much from that. It is sore just now, of course it is, but we will come back better for it next season."