Brora Rangers defeated Buckie Thistle 2-1 to win the GPH Builders Merchants Highland League Cup for the second time in their history.
In a pulsating contest at Station Park, Nairn the Cattachs opened up a two-goal lead in the first half courtesy of strikes from Jordan MacRae and Colin Williamson.
However, the Jags never gave up and Sam Urquhart’s effort with five minutes left set up a dramatic finish but the men from Moray couldn’t muster an equaliser.
Brora were handed a pre-match boost with goalkeeper Joe Malin making his return from a knee injury sustained in February to take his place between the posts.
Meanwhile, Buckie boss Graeme Stewart plumped for Kyle MacLeod up front ahead of Marcus Goodall.
Cattachs start well
The Jags were dealt an early blow with player-assistant manager Lewis MacKinnon coming off injured after eight minutes.
Left-back Mark McLauchlan came on with Shaun Wood moving across to right-back and Sam Morrison shifting inside to centre-back.
Brora started better and took the lead on 16 minutes.
Dale Gillespie’s free-kick from the right wasn’t cleared and when Josh Meekings headed the ball down at the back post and MacRae sidestepped a defender before slotting past Kevin Main from close range.
Shortly after falling behind Buckie worked Malin for the first time, but the custodian was equal to Andrew MacAskill’s drive from 20 yards.
The Cattachs continued to look the more threatening and shortly before the half hour mark Ally MacDonald sent in a tempting cross from the left which found no takers in the middle.
Brora doubled their lead in the 35th minute and it arrived in similar fashion to the first.
The Jags disputed a free-kick awarded for a foul on MacRae and when Gillespie swung in the free-kick Williamson met the delivery with a bullet of header which flew into the right corner.
Four minutes shy of the interval Buckie spurned a good chance to get one back.
They broke at speed from a Cattachs corner with Sam Urquhart finding MacAskill, who in turn slipped in Kevin Fraser, but Malin made a good save.
Jags look for response
The Jags started the second period strongly with Urquhart scuffing a shot wide after Kyle MacLeod’s flicked created space.
Despite playing with a bit more urgency chances still weren’t forthcoming for the side that was trailing.
Brora also remained a threat and Gillespie almost scored a screamer when he robbed Sam Pugh and attempted to lob Main from 35 yards, but the ball didn’t quite dip in time.
After an hour Fraser again worked Malin with a shot from the edge of the box and sub Goodall stabbed the rebound wide when he ought to have hit the target.
As the game continued it became increasingly tousy with both sets of players disputing just about every decision.
On 81 minutes Buckie thought they had pulled a goal back. Brora failed to clear a free-kick Urquhart chipped in a cross from the right side and Jack Murray’s header from point-blank range was somehow clawed away by Malin.
Despite protests the ball had crossed the line from Murray ref Joel Kennedy was not interested.
But with five minutes left Buckie did score. Goodall broke into the box on the left hand side and although Malin parried his strike Urquhart was on hand to fire home the rebound via the crossbar.
That set up a grandstand finish, but despite their best efforts the Jags couldn’t find an equaliser to force penalties.