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Jamie Watt Dee-lighted with Junior history makers after Aberdeenshire Shield triumph

The Banks o' Dee players and management celebrate winning the Aberdeenshire Shield after victory against Huntly
The Banks o' Dee players and management celebrate winning the Aberdeenshire Shield after victory against Huntly

Banks o’ Dee co-manager Jamie Watt hailed his history makers after they won the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time.

The Junior outfit was pushed all the way by Huntly in a pulsating final at Inverurie’s Harlaw Park but triumphed 5-3 on penalties following a 3-3 draw.

Dee won the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup for the first time in October and Watt, who is joint-boss with Roy McBain, was delighted to do the double.

He said: “It’s unbelievable, it’s such a big ask to win both competitions.

“We’ve seen how hard it was, Huntly have taken us right to the wire, it was such a tough game.

“To win the Cup was a great achievement and we’ve backed it up with the Shield.

“We’ve done it the hard way, in the Shield we’ve had to show a lot of battling qualities and character which this team has got.

“To win them both in one season and make history for the club is incredible and I’m so proud of all the players.”

Dee dug it out

Sub Lachie MacLeod netted twice to help Dee come from 2-0 behind, while goalkeeper Lee Sweeney made the crucial shoot-out save from Greg Buchan after making a couple of mistakes during the 90 minutes.

Watt added: “Lachie leads the line well and it was harsh he wasn’t starting.

“He came on scored two goals, hit the post and scored a penalty so it was a great contribution.

“Lee said before the penalties he owed the boys one or two saves and he saved the first which was a great start for us.

“He’ll be relieved, but it’s a team game and sometimes you’ve got to dig your team-mates out.”

Banks o’ Dee co-managers Jamie Watt, left, and Roy McBain with the Aberdeenshire Shield

Huntly took the lead in rainy and blustery conditions on 13 minutes with Buchan’s strike from 25 yards skidding off the surface and deceiving Sweeney.

Logan Johnstone hit the crossbar with a cross-cum-shot for the Black and Golds before they went 2-0 up after an hour.

Sweeney failed to gather a loose ball under pressure from Buchan and Robbie Foster slammed home.

Kane Winton’s low shot from 12 yards pulled a goal back for Dee on 63 minutes. A couple of minutes later MacLeod hit a post before netting from close range from the resultant corner.

Alex Thoirs celebrates Huntly’s equaliser against Banks o’ Dee

In the 70th minute MacLeod headed home from Rob Armstrong’s delivery to make it 3-2.

Michael Clark restored parity on 81 minutes with a header after Sweeney spilled Buchan’s free-kick.

In the closing stages Banks o’ Dee Craig MacAskill was red-carded for a poor challenge on Glenn Murison.

In the shoot-out Huntly’s first from Buchan was saved by Sweeney which meant conversions from Mark Gilmour, Armstrong, MacLeod, Cameron Beattie and Marc Young won it for Dee.

Disappointment for Huntly

For Huntly – playing in their first final since 2008 – and trying to win the Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time it was a heartbreaking end.

Manager Allan Hale said: “The overriding emotion is pride, I’m proud of the players.

“I don’t think we played our best but we showed a tremendous amount of character and spirit in the game.

“All we were asking at 2-0 up was to keep it tight for five minutes and see off that reaction you get from Banks o’ Dee, but we’ve conceded three goals in seven minutes.

“It would have been easy for the players to fold at that point but they showed character to come back and fought all the way to the end.

“Penalties is a lottery and we’re devastated to be on the wrong side of it.

“But the challenge now is to ensure this doesn’t become a once in 14 years experience.”

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