Buckie Thistle and Rothes meet in the final of the Highland League Cup for the first time tomorrow.
The two sides have never met in the showpiece game of the competition, or any cup final for that matter as they compete under different jurisdictions: Buckie under the Aberdeenshire FA and Rothes for the North of Scotland FA.
Victory at Christie Park for the Jags would be their ninth triumph in the competition, taking them one behind Keith, while Rothes have never lifted the trophy. In fact, their last silverware came in the North of Scotland Cup back in 1978-79.
Here, we take a look back at when the two sides last reached the final of the Highland League Cup.
Buckie Thistle 3-3 Clach (Clach win 4-3 on penalties), Saturday May 10 2014
An epic cup final, in which Clach twice blew a two-goal, was eventually settled from the spot at Kynoch Park.
Paul Brindle and Gordy Morrison had put the Inverness side 2-0 up, the latter netting from 12 yards.
Liam Baxter dragged Buckie back into the game but with 20 minutes to go, Brindle had seemingly put the final beyond their grasp with his second of the game.
However the Jags rallied again, with Andy Low – now Inverurie Locos manager – heading in from close range and Aaron Conway scoring his own penalty to take the game to extra-time. The additional period could not separate the two sides, with spot-kicks required.
Morrison had the opening effort turned away by Kevin Main and Baxter got Buckie on the board. Blair Lawrie blazed over for the Lilywhites but John Campbell kept out Low’s attempt.
Andrew Skinner, Michael Finnis and Neil Macdonald all netted for Clach, as did Chris Hegarty and Conway for Buckie. That left Graeme Stewart, the current Jags boss, to win it but Campbell denied him from 12 yards.
Scott Graham scored from the first kick in sudden-death and Campbell continued his heroics, denying Iain MacRae to give Clach their first silverware in 10 years.
What they said:
Buckie manager Gary Hake: “I am proud of each and every one of them, to get here to the final and to beat the teams we have on the way is a huge achievement. I have been saying all week this was going to be a very difficult game, certainly tougher than any other of the games we have played. Clach are a very good, energetic, young side with a lot of pace in their team.
“But great credit must also go to my players for the character they showed in getting themselves back into the game, it must have been a great cup final for the neutrals. There was a great atmosphere, a good crowd and there were no problems – that’s exactly what we want to see.”
Rothes 0-2 Forres Mechanics, Saturday May 8 2010
Goals from Scott Moore and Matthew Fraser handed the trophy to Forres the last time Rothes made the Highland League Cup final, ironically at home of their opponents tomorrow.
Forres took the lead 25 minutes in when Moore exchanged passes with Ian Penwright to tuck the ball beyond goalkeeper Ricky Horne.
Stuart Flett hit the inside of the Forres post and Rothes – then the league’s bottom side – felt they had a strong case for a penalty turned down when Stuart Knight brought down Kris Duncan.
But it was not to be and Forres wrapped up the win with six minutes to go, as Graeme Shinnie – on loan from Caley Thistle – fed Fraser and his cool finish brought the trophy back to Mosset Park.
What they said:
Rothes manager Graham McBeath: “Our supporters have been first-class throughout the tournament and I’m sure they won’t be too downhearted.
“When the ball came back off the inside of the post we knew it wasn’t our day, but when Kris Duncan went down under a challenge from Stuart Knight when he went for the rebound, for me it was a penalty.
“We were poor in the first half and very nervous as we didn’t react quickly enough to the second ball. Forres deserved their victory. They took their chances and we didn’t. I think the final was a step too far for us at this stage, although getting there was a magnificent achievement.”