Buckie Thistle reached the Highland League Cup final with a stunning penalty shoot-out victory over Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park.
The two sides had shared a 2-2 draw after extra-time in a thrilling encounter, with Brora twice coming from behind to take the match to penalties.
Steven Ross’s early opener for the Jags was cancelled out by Bjorn Wagenaar, however Jack Murray looked to have won the tie for Graeme Stewart’s men when he netted early in the second half in extra time.
Gregor MacDonald’s last-gasp strike took the match to penalties after Hamish Munro had been dismissed for the Jags, however Andy MacAskill netted the decisive strike in a 4-3 shoot-out win.
Buckie will now face Rothes in the final at Kynoch Park on Saturday, with Stewart thrilled by the resolve shown by his side in their first competitive outing.
Stewart said: “We showed heaps of character.
“We were pegged back, we had a man sent off and we missed the first penalty, but we bounced back.
“Fair play to them because they kept coming back. They were up for the fight and did well to come back twice, but I thought we were unbelievable.
“I think it would have been a bit of an injustice if we didn’t win considering the amount of clear-cut chances we had.
“I told them after the game to forget the penalties – if we didn’t win the shoot-out it didn’t bother me.
“Obviously I’m happy now.”
The Cattachs had the advantage of three matches already under their belt.
However, it was the Jags who made the perfect start by taking the lead inside two minutes.
A threaded pass by right back Joe McCabe put Steven Ross clean through behind the Cattachs defence, with the striker showing great composure to tuck low past Joe Malin.
Brora responded strongly, with Wagenaar posing their main threat.
Having netted a stunning free kick against Cove in midweek, the Dutchman was in confident mood from set pieces, seeing a strike from a wide angle tipped over by Daniel Bell on 10 minutes.
Wagenaar forced an even better save from Bell from open play after being played through by Andy Macrae three minutes later, with the goalkeeper doing well to block with his legs.
Play continued to flow from end to end, with Andy Macrae seeing a shot deflected into the side netting, while Malin did well to block a Sam Urquhart effort at the other end.
Brora started the second half with intent, equalising on 57 minutes when an exquisite pass from Maclean released Wagenaar to apply a neat finish past Bell from a tight angle.
Both sides came close to a winner before the end of 90 minutes, with the impressive Wagenaar striking the bar from long range, while at the other end Buckie substitute Scott Adams was denied by a superb save by Malin following Kyle MacLeod’s through ball three minutes from time.
Murray looked to have won the tie when he headed home MacAskill’s corner, however, Buckie were reduced to 10 men when Munro was shown a straight red card for hauling down Paul Brindle.
MacDonald’s deflected strike on 120 minutes took the match to penalties, but despite MacLeod missing the Jags’ first effort, missed attempts by MacDonald and Mark Nicolson allowed MacAskill to win the tie.
Brora boss Steven Mackay said: “I was really disappointed with the result first and foremost, but more disappointed with our performance.
“We spoke highly of the players in the last week or so in relation to the performances they put in in the Betfred Cup, and rightly so.
“We were way off the standards we set previously and last season. We were way off the mark, but credit to Buckie.
“They seemed like they wanted it more and that’s a bitter pill to swallow.”