Brora Rangers gained revenge on Rothes with a 3-0 victory triumph at Dudgeon Park.
The sides met in a quick rematch, just 10 days on from the Speysiders’ 2-1 North of Scotland final triumph over Craig Campbell’s men at Grant Park.
It was the Sutherland outfit who triumphed on this occasion, with goals from Gregor MacDonald, Ali Sutherland and Max Ewan ending Rothes’ 16-match unbeaten run.
With the wind behind their backs in the first half, Brora set the early tone and could have taken the lead within three minutes. Dale Gillespie’s lofted through ball picked out the run of Adam MacKinnon, however a fine saving block by Michael Finnis turned his effort behind.
The Cattachs continued to probe from distance, with Gregor MacDonald and Tom Kelly both off target with long-range strikes.
On-form attacker Matthew Wright was presented with a decent chance on 13 minutes when he was threaded in by fellow Ross County loanee MacKinnon, however he could not get enough power on his low effort to trouble Sean McCarthy.
MacDonald was next to try his luck on 21 minutes, however the midfielder struck straight at McCarthy with a low strike from 20 yards.
Wright thought he had given his side the lead 60 seconds later when he showed a superb touch to take down MacDonald’s cross before unleashing a strike across goal, however his effort bounced off the far post before rolling along the goal line and into the grateful arms of McCarthy.
The Rothes goalkeeper had to make a fine save to turn MacDonald’s effort around the post after the lively midfielder cut in from the right, while MacKinnon struck over from the resulting corner.
The efforts continued to come Rothes’ way, with former Speysider Ali Sutherland seeing a deflected strike palmed away by McCarthy.
The visitors struggled to make their attacking presence felt, although they threatened a slick breakaway when Aidan Wilson’s threaded ball forced Joe Malin to smother at the feet of Fraser Robertson.
Brora took a deserved lead on 34 minutes however, with MacDonald finding space in the middle of the park to line up a thunderbolt strike from 25 yards which sailed into McCarthy’s top-left corner.
Jordan MacRae was close to adding a second for the hosts three minutes before the break after latching on to Wright’s through ball, with McCarthy doing well to palm his strike over.
Having trailed by a goal at half-time prior to their cup final success, Rothes were looking to repeat their comeback exploits but it was Brora who were first to threaten in the second half, with MacRae flashing another drive over.
Sutherland came close to doubling Brora’s advantage on three separate occasions as the Cattachs continued to mount the pressure, but he could not hit the target with any of his efforts.
Rothes somehow managed to keep the ball out on 58 minutes when MacRae saw his header spectacularly saved by McCarthy, with Wright unable to tuck home the rebound from point-blank range.
Brora were not to be denied on the hour mark however, with substitute Andy Macrae making an instant impact in teeing up Sutherland who this time made no mistake with an outstanding drilled finish.
Ross Jack’s men threatened straight away in search of a way back into the game, with Craig Cormack seeing an effort from the edge of the box whistle just past the post.
There was to be no way back though, with substitute Ewan bundling home a third in stoppage time.