There was no Christmas hangover for Queens as Nicky Clark grabbed his first hat-trick to wrap up another three points and give the Doonhamers the bragging rights in the latest south west derby.
With several players suffering from a flu bug, the striker admitted it had been touch and go as to whether hed feature in the game or not, but as his strikes took him to 20 for the season any illness was soon forgotten.
After the game Clark said: A few of the boys have been hit with the flu and my dad had it last night. I wasnt feeling too great this morning but Im delighted to have scored my first hat-trick.
As I went through for the third one it was never on my mind to pass it and when it went in it was a great feeling, Im over the moon.
If someone had said I would get 20 goals in the season, I would have been delighted with that, so to get it by Christmas, Im over the moon with that as well and I just hope it continues between now and the end of the season.
The boys have been great, its not just down to me. Ive got to be there but the balls in have to be decent as well and they have been. Its brilliant.
His performance earned praise from his manager.
Allan Johnston said: Thats the best Ive seen him this year. Not just the goals, but his overall play.
Hes holding the ball in, running in behind causing all sorts of problems and to get the three goals it just sums up his season so far.
Hes getting in the positions to score more, all good strikers do that. Youre not going to score every week but if youre getting in the positions then youll score goals.
It was only when Clark grabbed his second of the afternoon that the outcome of the game looked secure.
Although Queens had been more creative and imaginative with their play throughout, the visitors always looked dangerous on the break.
And with 20 minutes of the game gone they silenced the healthy home crowd.
As Sean Winter won a free kick off Chris Mitchell 25 yards from goal, Chris Aitken floated the ball in to the danger area.
Defender Frank McKeown met it perfectly to send a powerful header past Lee Robinson into the top corner.
Being behind isnt a position Queens have found themselves in too often this season, but they showed the battling character they have within the squad and were soon back on level terms. With half an hour gone Willie Gibson crossed from the left wing and it was Clark who rose highest to get on the end of it to head past David Mitchell.
Five minutes before the break only a fine save denied him a second. Hed got on the end of a Mitchell free kick and, as he kept his shot low, it looked like it was heading for the bottom corner before the keeper turned it round for a corner with his right foot.
And Steven Aitken had his keeper to thank again for keeping them level within the first minute of the restart, this time a great one handed save stopped Gibsons 35 yard right foot thunderbolt.
Minutes later Craig Malcolm thought hed fired the Stair Park men ahead again, but although he found the net, the far side linesman had already raised his flag.
As Queens lost Gibson with a nasty ankle knock, Clark netted his second of the afternoon. Some great play by Gavin Reilly sent Ryan McGuffie away and his ball into the box fell nicely for Clark at the near post, he had no hesitation as he swept the ball into the net from six yards with the aid of the inside of the upright.
From then on there was only going to be one outcome. Queens were playing with confidence while Stranraer started to tire. And midway through the second half, defender David McGregor was left stranded by Clark who slipped the ball across Mitchell into the bottom corner to secure his hat-trick. It was to be his final contribution of the afternoon as he left the field to a standing ovation a short time later to be replaced by Kevin Smith.
It was all Queens and as they swept Stranraer aside during the second half, Reilly headed over, and Dan Carmichael tried to lift the ball over Mitchell before Smith got the better of the defence again to round off the scoring from close range.
Pleased to have another three points in the bag to maintain their nine-point advantage at the top of the table, manager Allan Johnston was also delighted with the way theyd played.
He said: Im really pleased, the second half performance is as good as weve been all season. I cant ask for much more.
The first half we may have been slow, a bit to deliberate, but once we started moving the ball around we started to get in behind and cause them problems and thats what weve been good at all year.
The boys were fantastic, some of the football we played was really good.
Queen of the South: Robinson, McGuffie, Holt, Durnan, Higgins, Young, Gibson (Orsi 62), Mitchell, Reilly, Clark (Smith 76) and Carmichael (Johnston 83). Subs not used: Black and Atkinson.
Stranraer: Mitchell, Staunton (Phinn 62), McGregor, McKeown, Dunlop, Aitken, Winter (Wright 88), Gallagher, Moore (Borris 73), Malcolm and Love. Subs not used: Kinnaird and Cadwell.
Referee: Kevin Graham.