Brora Rangers manager Steven Mackay dedicated his side’s North Cup triumph to lifelong fan Willie Sutherland who died in a fishing accident last month.
After edging out a strong Caley Thistle side 3-2, thanks to an 83rd minute strike from substitute Kyle MacLeod, manager Mackay was thrilled to pick up his first trophy as a player-manager.
He said: “I’m delighted to get my first trophy but more so with the performance – and let’s not beat about the bush, that was a Championship side we’ve just beaten.
“I would like to dedicate this victory to Willie’s memory. He was a great supporter of Brora Rangers.
“We were pegged back and went down 2-1 so to go on and win it 3-2 was brilliant. I’m very proud of all the players.
“Kyle MacLeod always has goals in him. We thought that Dale Gillespie looked a little bit tired after putting in a great shift and we thought Kyle could make something happen, and he did.”
Mackay reckoned it was a superb all-round team performance and added: “We didn’t have any weak links at all.
“Martin Maclean was superb but any of our starting 11 could have been named man of the match. Our aim is to go on and win the Highland League now.We have a squad good enough to do just that and it’s down to us, as the job of myself and my management team, to make sure we deliver it.”
Man of the match midfielder Maclean, originally from Stornoway, and who scored his side’s equalising second goal, said: “It was a tough game but we knew that, as they had a lot of fit young guys who are all full-time.
“I’ve been getting a bit of stick for not scoring enough goals but after scoring at Locos last week and again here today hopefully I’ve answered that.
“It looked like it could have gone to extra-time until Kyle scored that late winner. Extra-time may have suited them more but we came here to win the cup and we did.
“I don’t see why we can’t go on and win the league title as well.”