Inverurie Locos manager Richard Hastings hopes defeating Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield holders Fraserburgh can be the springboard for a shot at glory.
This competition wasn’t played during the Covid curtailed 2020-21 season with Fraserburgh the holders following victory over Inverurie in the last final in January 2020.
Locos boss Hastings said: “I think both sides would have felt capable of going all the way.
“This could have been the final, it was the last time which tells you something.
“But we’ve just got to take the next game and see where we go from there.
“We’re through to the next round which we’re delighted about and anything that’s there to win you want to be there challenging to win it.
“That’s one step done and we look forward to the next one.”
‘We took the game to Fraserburgh’
On the performance of his side, Hastings added: “I’m delighted with the clean sheet first and foremost because we talk about building off of them.
“The boys took the game to Fraserburgh with their work ethic and played some really good stuff.
“We knew it would be a battle but I thought we more than matched Fraserburgh and that got us the win.
“The boys look like they’re enjoying it and I’m certainly enjoying it.
“Things are going in the right direction but I’m not naive enough to think we’re the finished article yet. There’s a lot of work still to be done.”
Locos take their chances
In an action packed encounter Broch goalkeeper Paul Leask made an impressive save in the 19th minute to parry Ross Still’s effort from a Robert Ward cutback to safety.
At the other end home custodian Andy Reid did well to repel Owen Cairns’ cross-cum-shot from the right side of the area.
Shortly after the half hour the woodwork denied Fraserburgh’s Scott Barbour the opener.
The striker’s angled effort bounced against the right post then ricocheted against Locos defender Craig Gill and back off the upright before being cleared.
In the 37th minute Inverurie took the lead with Calum Dingwall’s free-kick from the left was missed by Leask before eventually breaking for Kieran Shanks to net from close range.
It was 2-0 on 64 minutes with Nathan Meres’ cross from the right being side-footed home by Jamie Michie.
As the Broch searched for a route back into the contest Locos sealed their win with 13 minutes left as Cairns turned Ward’s cross from the left into his own net.
Disappointment for holders
Fraserburgh started the season as Aberdeenshire Cup and Shield holders but have now relinquished both trophies.
Boss Mark Cowie said: “The best team won, there’s no shying away from that. Inverurie worked hard for their win and were very dangerous on the break.
“We probably had more of the ball but we didn’t do anything with it.
“They hit us on the break with the pace and work ethic that they’ve got up front.
“It wasn’t like us, but we can’t do anything about it now because we’re out.
“We had two trophies in the cabinet last year and we’ve given them away easy and haven’t really fought for them which is disappointing.”