Banks o’ Dee defeated Huntly on 5-3 penalties after a 3-3 draw to win the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time.
In a dramatic final at Harlaw Park, Inverurie, the Blacks and Golds had led 2-0 courtesy of Greg Buchan and Robbie Foster, but Kane Winton’s counter and Lachie MacLeod’s brace put the Junior side ahead.
Michael Clark’s late equaliser for Huntly forced spot-kicks.
In the shoot-out, Mark Gilmour, Rob Armstrong, MacLeod, Cameron Beattie and Marc Young scored for Dee, and Lee Sweeney’s save from Buchan gave them the silverware.
Victory makes it a memorable double for the Aberdeen outfit, who won the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup in October, but for Huntly – playing in their first final since 2008 – it was a heartbreaking end.
Huntly strike first
Despite heavy rain in the build-up to kick-off, the game was given the go-ahead by referee Duncan Nicolson and a sizeable crowd packed into Harlaw Park to watch.
Huntly in particular were backed by a vocal support, who had made the trip down the A96.
The Black and Golds also received a boost with Aberdeen midfielder Jack MacIver rejoining on loan prior to kick off, and he was thrust straight into the side.
Banks o’ Dee were missing the influential Michael Philipson, but were still able to include experienced campaigners like Darryn Kelly, Kane Winton and Jack Henderson.
It was the Junior side who had the first effort, but Mark Gilmour fired into the side-netting from the left side of the area.
Gilmour had another effort soon after, which Euan Storrier did well to save, but it was Huntly who took the lead in the 13th minute.
Greg Buchan collected a loose ball, skipped past a defender and let fly from 25 yards and the ball bounced on the slippery service, completely deceived goalkeeper Lee Sweeney and found the net.
Dee almost equalised on 20 minutes with Rob Armstrong’s free-kick from 20 yards was patted down by Storrier, but he redeemed himself by blocking Lewis Crosbie’s rebound at point-blank range.
Shortly after, Huntly nearly doubled their lead with Robbie Foster’s low effort drifting just beyond the left post.
In the 33rd minute, Dee were left wondering how they hadn’t levelled after a penalty box scramble, but despite numerous attempts to force the ball into the net, they were repelled by the Black and Golds rearguard.
At the other end, Huntly’s Logan Johnstone’s hit the crossbar with a cross-cum-shot from the left side.
Dee look for response
Banks o’ Dee almost equalised on 49 minutes when Kyle Dalling slipped, which allowed Jack Henderson to get a shot away, but Storrier saved.
And from the corner that followed, the custodian made a terrific reflex stop to deny Kelly.
At the other end, Buchan almost caught out Sweeney with a speculative long-range lob, but the goalkeeper back-pedalled and saved.
On the hour, Huntly did go 2-0 up. Buchan burst through the Banks o’ Dee rearguard and, although Sweeney came out to claim the ball, he didn’t gather under pressure from Buchan and Robbie Foster followed up to slam the loose ball into the net.
But, on 63 minutes, Dee were back in the contest when Crosbie headed the ball down and Winton’s low shot crept through the legs of Storrier.
Banks o’ Dee’s tails were up and after a cutback from Dean Lawrie, sub Lachie MacLeod cracked a shot against the post left post before the ball was bundled behind.
But, from the corner that followed, MacLeod did score after Huntly failed to clear from another scramble in the area.
On 70 minutes the comeback was complete for the Junior side with MacLeod finishing from close range after Armstrong’s ball across goal from the left side of the area.
But Huntly weren’t done yet and equalised with eight minutes left when Michael Clark headed home Buchan’s free-kick, which Sweeney had spilled.
On 87 minutes, Banks o’ Dee were reduced to 10 men with Craig MacAskill red carded for a terrible studs up challenge on Glenn Murison.