The Reds showed hunger, desire, passion and commitment but just couldn't find that elusive equaliser they so thoroughly deserved.
GOAL: Adel Taarabt curled home after only 51 seconds
Skipper Jason Shackell returned to the starting XI along with Jacob Mellis at the expense of Stephen Foster and the injured Hugo Colace.
Both sets of fans were in good voice from the off and they didn't have to wait long for the opener. Only 51 seconds were on the clock when that man Taarabt opened the scoring. After he picked up the ball on the left, the Moroccan curled past Steele into the bottom corner with his left foot.
Harewood surged forward with 5 minutes gone, his shot was spilled by Kenny and Gray saw his rebound saved once again by the former Sheffield United man. The subsequent corner was headed wide by Shackell.
Little happened in the next ten minutes but the Reds were keeping the ball well, utilising the pace and quality of Trippier down the right.
Doyle fancied a shot from 25-yards on 17 minutes but the former HullCity man's effort was always rising.
The Hoops were looking dangerous on the break as they were willing to sit back and let the Reds play.
Helguson scuffed wide from 25-yards after Derry had nipped in behind Mellis. But the forward's effort was never going to worry Steele on 23 minutes. A moment later and McShane sliced an attempt into the path of Harewood who couldn't quite connect with an overhead-kick.
Trippier was providing some excellent deliveries down the right-hand channel, another fine cross found Harewood but the big striker was offside as he prodded over.
The Blackpool loanee had another attempt on 33 minutes, after turning well the forward's drive had the power but lacked accuracy as Kenny gobbled up with relative ease.
In the 35th minute, Adel Taarabt showed the other side of his game as he directed a wild swing with his boot at Hill after bringing Mellis down - the Football League's Player of the Season was probably lucky to stay on the pitch as the referee showed him a yellow card.
On the stroke of 38 minutes, Trippier managed to pick out Harewood once again - his header was on target as Gray looked to steal in but Kenny smothered the ball.
Mr Bates brought out the book again on 40 minutes - this time for Jacob Butterfield, much to the crowd's dismay. Butterfield appeared to win the ball but was shown a yellow card.
It was Hill's turn for an attempt on goal but the full-back opted for his right boot and fired over whilst searching for his third goal in a Barnsley shirt.
Only a few minutes before the break and the Reds were looking strong, the only thing lacking was a Barnsley goal when two minutes of added time were indicated.
A strong claim for a penalty came in first-half stoppage time as Haynes drove forward. When the former Bristol City man cut inside it appeared to strike the hand of Clint Hill - the Reds were awarded a corner.
It was a lively yet quiet opening to the second period with no real goalmouth action at either end.
The flag was up well before Routledge tapped home in front of the following QPR supporters with nine minutes gone in the second-half.
Haynes flew into the area on 59 before releasing a powerful cross-come-shot that Kenny held well. Only a minute later and Gray almost got in on the Rangers stopper, only for a poor touch to let him down.
The Reds had a chance to cause bother in the Hoops' box on 63 minutes, the ball fell to Haynes who failed to make a proper connection for what would have surely been a Barnsley equaliser.
Barnsley were pinging the ball about well, looking hungry and battling for every ball in search of the equaliser they deserved.
Neil Warnock made the first change of the match as Ephraim came on for Taarabt with 21 to play.
On 77 minutes it was a proud moment for Jordan Clark who came on to make his Barnsley début - he replaced Jacob Mellis in midfield. Matt Hill was also substituted for Jay McEveley.
A rare second-half attempt for Rangers came on 81 minutes from Helguson as he rose highest to meet Routledge's cross but his header skimmed off the post.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus replaced Andy Gray in attack with eight minutes left on the clock.
Butterfield had Kenny stranded on 86 when he unleashed a terrific 20-yard drive that rattled the upright.
The fourth official indicated a minimum of four minutes stoppage-time.
The full-time whistle brought a huge roar from the away end - and it was one of relief for the following fifteen-hundred.
BARNSLEY: Steele, Hill (McEveley 77), Trippier, Shackell, McShane, Doyle, Mellis (Clark 77), Butterfield, Haynes, Harewood, Gray (Noble-Lazarus 82).
Subs: Preece, Foster, Arismendi, O'Brien.
QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Ephraim 69), Helguson, Faurlin, Gorkss, Routledge, Connolly, Smith.
Subs: Buzsaky, Agyemang, Hulse, Cerny, Miller, Shittu.
Referee: A Bates
Assistant Referees: B Khatib & S M Stockbridge
Fourth Official: P Bankes
Attendance: 11, 351 (1,573) away