Cove Rangers have been promoted to League Two after beating Berwick Rangers 3-0 (7-0 on aggregate) in the pyramid play-off final.
The Highland League champions took a four goal lead to Shielfield Park and the SPFL’s bottom side never looked like overturning that deficit.
It was a day of celebration for Cove as they achieved their long held ambition of reaching the Scottish League.
Cove co-manager John Sheran has been recovering from a heart attack suffered on April 21, but he was well enough to travel to Berwick and watch his side reach the SPFL.
SFA president and Cove honorary president Alan McRae was also in attendance.
The men from the Granite City started strongly and hit the woodwork after four minutes.
Harry Milne swept in a cross from the left, Mitch Megginson lunged for it, didn’t get a touch and the ball bounced off the onrushing Daniel Park and against the right post.
At the other end Berwick had some pressure but challenges from Ryan Strachan and Darryn Kelly thwarted Cameron Blues.
In the ninth minute Cove took the lead. Megginson fed Jamie Masson on the left side of the area, he cut inside and his right-footed shot was deflected, taking it over goalie Ryan Goodfellow who had dived.
Declan O’Kane got back and booted the ball clear, but ref John McKendrick ruled the ball had crossed the line after consultation with linesman Daniel McFarlane.
Cove controlled the first period with life sucked out of the Berwick supporters by the early goal, although 400 travelling fans from the North-east made it a party atmosphere with their incessant chanting in support of Cove.
Later in the half Daniel Park shot inches wide from just inside the box and Jordon Brown’s vicious left footer from 20 yards was caught by Goodfellow.
On the stroke of half-time Berwick were reduced to 10 men. Masson played one-twos with Blair Yule and Jordon Brown before slipping Megginson in and as the striker was ready to shoot he was tripped by Wee Gers skipper Ross Brown.
The home captain had denied a clear goalscoring opportunity and was rightly sent off.
Two minutes into the second half it was 2-0 Cove. Megginson fed Masson on the left side of the box and his low cross was turned in at the back post from close range by the sliding Jordon Brown.
Cove continued to dominate with Goodfellow thrwarting Connor Scully from long range and Megginson shooting just past from 14 yards as he looked for a 50th goal of the season.
With 15 minutes left it was 3-0 when subs Sam Burnett and Paul McManus combined. The former’s pass found McManus who fired home from 15 yards.
It was a day of celebration for Cove, but arguably the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for club captain Eric Watson.
The skipper came on with six minutes to go to make his last appearance for Cove before leaving in the summer. With his first touch Watson met Park’s free-kick, but his header drifted just wide and he didn’t get the fairytale ending of scoring.
Watson also had a header saved in the dying embers as Cove dominated right up to the final whistle.