Inverurie Locos defeated holders Fraserburgh 3-0 in the first round of the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield at Harlaw Park.
The Railwaymen secured a home tie with Dyce Juniors in the quarter-final next month courtesy of strikes from Kieran Shanks, Jamie Michie and an own goal by Owen Cairns.
This competition wasn’t played during the Covid-19 curtailed 2020-21 campaign with the Broch defending the Shield after defeating Locos in the 2019-20 final, but the Garioch side triumphed on this occasion.
Inverurie made one change to the side that was defeated by Buckie Thistle on Saturday with Ross Still replacing the injured Neil Gauld.
Fraserburgh made two alterations from the team which won against Turriff United with Sean Butcher and Jamie Beagrie starting in place of Ryan Sargent and Gary Harris.
Locos threaten first
The home side had two early efforts with Robert Ward and then Nathan Meres lifting shots over when well-positioned inside the box.
The Broch’s first effort came in the 11th minute when Lewis Duncan shot narrowly wide from 20 yards after neat build-up play involving Willie West and Butcher.
Duncan went close again four minutes later with his volley from long range deflected just wide.
At the other end Shanks’ hold-up play and footwork created an opening, but the striker’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Paul Leask.
In the 19th minute Leask made a more impressive save with Ward’s low delivery from the left finding Still but his low strike was parried to safety.
Shortly before the half hour mark Inverurie goalkeeper Andy Reid made a fingertip save to repel Owen Cairns after the wing-back latched onto Scott Barbour’s back-heel inside the box.
In the 32rd minute it was the woodwork that stopped the Broch taking the lead.
Barbour’s cross-cum-shot from the left side of the area bounced against the right post before ricocheting against Locos defender Craig Gill and back off the upright before being cleared.
Five minutes later Inverurie took the lead with Dingwall’s free-kick from the left missed by Leask before breaking down for Shanks to finish from close range.
Locos had the last chance before the break with Still shooting wide following a rapid counter-attack.
Hosts double their lead
The frenetic first half pace continued after the restart with Ward forcing Leask into a fine stop with a powerful drive from 30 yards.
At 1-0 the tie was very much in the balance, but Inverurie doubled their advantage in the 64th minute.
Meres did well on the right flank to beat West and cut the ball back for Michie to side-foot into the bottom left corner.
In response to falling two behind Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie introduced Harris and Logan Watt from the bench in a bid to change proceedings.
After a spell of Broch pressure Butcher headed off target and shortly after Barbour had the ball in the net but was flagged offside.
Inverurie sealed victory in the 77th minute with Ward’s ball across from the left deflected into his own net by Cairns.
It was a disjointed display from Fraserburgh with the Breedon Highland League leaders not hitting the heights they have earlier this season.
Although they did have a late chance with Harris testing Reid with a shot from 15 yards.