Buckie bounced back from their midweek defeat at Huntly in devastating fashion as they blitzed neighbours Keith with a six-goal Highland League salvo.
Leading by a single goal against the competitive visitors at half-time, the Jags changed things around and the north’s top scorer John McLeod led the way with a brace as the Maroons were mercilessly swept aside.
Delighted Buckie manager Graeme Stewart said: “The title race will probably go down to the last game but I am delighted with the display today.
“Keith battled in the first half, and crowded the midfield, so we changed it at half-time getting the ball wide. We were unplayable at times with John McLeod looking more relaxed, he could have scored more.
“Our biggest strength is attacking and the more goals we got the more chances we created. Keeping a clean sheet was fantastic, we defended well”.
The deadlock was broken with nine minutes of the first half remaining, the ball breaking kindly for top scorer McLeod to clip home his 40th goal of the season from 10 yards.
After the break Buckie changed their formation and produced a scintillating display that had the Maroons gasping.
Within a couple of minutes of the restart they doubled the score when Dey blocked a Chris Angus shot but McLeod followed up quickly to slam home from 12 yards.
As the Jags swarmed forward, Bruce Milne cleared an Angus shot off the line as Buckie stepped up a gear. It was game over with 65 minutes played, Sam Urquhart whipping home from 20 yards.
it was 4-0 in the 74th minute when a lack of a challenge saw Kevin Fraser head home from eight yards, and it was a nap hand three minutes later when McLeod hit the far corner of the net for his hat-trick, his 42nd goal of the season. McLeod was substituted to a standing ovation from the home support 10 minutes from the end.
With four minutes remaining the sizzling jags hit the Maroons for six when central defender Lewis MacKinnon powered in to ram home from six yards to underline the home title challenge. Keith manager Allan Hale, who saw his side ship six goals for the second successive match, said: “It’s the story of our season and highlights our problems. We can’t defend cross balls but it’s my team and my responsibility.”