Formartine United reached the semi-finals of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup after cruising past Huntly at North Lodge Park in Pitmedden.
Jonny Smith was the home hero with a brilliantly taken first half hat-trick to help earn his club a semi-final trip to Deveronvale.
Andrew Greig forced a superb diving save out of Huntly keeper Euan Storrier in the ninth minute as the home side went in search of the opener.
United’s pressure paid off in the 13th minute when Smith’s superb downward six yard header from a deep right-wing cross from player-manger Paul Lawson gave Storrier in the visitors’ goal no chance.
Graeme Rodger saw his first-time effort sail over the crossbar as the Pitmedden side started to turn the screw.
Huntly were dealt a blow in the 20th minute when former Turriff United striker Angus Grant appeared to slip on the far side of the pitch and he was stretchered off with what looked like a serious knee injury. Cameron Heslop came off the bench as his replacement.
On the half hour mark Smith doubled the advantage when his sublime turn left his marker for dead and the ball was nestling in the bottom corner of the net before Huntly keeper Storrier could move.
Five minutes later the game was almost over as a contest when Greig waltzed through the Huntly defence and fired a 15-yard grounder past the diving Storrier.
The home side were running riot and two minutes later former Aberdeen and Keith striker Smith completed a 24-minute hat-trick with another ferocious 12-yard effort into the far corner.
Early in the second half Storrier was happy to block a Rodgers half-volley with his legs and hold onto the rebound.
On the hour, United withdrew striker Smith in favour of former Caley Thistle and Cove Rangers attacker Daniel Park.
There was no further scoring but the damage had been done with that blistering first half salvo from the home side.
Smith said: “It was good to grab a hat-trick but just great to get back to winning ways.
“We now travel to face Deveronvale in the semi-finals but we would fancy our chances whoever we were drawn against as there was a great confidence about us at the moment.
“That’s why we took our recent disappointing results so badly.
“We fancied going down to Brechin and winning and we also fancied our chances of a home win against Buckie Thistle last weekend so it really is good to get back to winning ways.”