FORRES Jags won their second trophy of the season with a single-goal
victory over First Division West champions Buckie Rovers in the Archibald Cup final.
The first chance fell to Buckie in the fifth minute, but Kyle Gauld could only shoot across goal after a scramble in the Forres penalty area.
Five minutes later a poor throw out by Aaron Sherman was pounced on by Ian Wilson, and his cross to the back post was fired into the side netting by Steven Currie.
Shaun Findlay then put Nikki Smith through on goal and he was denied by a good save from keeper Luke Cairney.
In the 20th minute John Watson headed down a corner to Charlie Beck, but he blasted his shot over the crossbar.
A good move by Rovers saw them come close to opening the scoring in the 25th minute, Callum Murray’s strike rattling off the underside of the bar before being cleared to safety.
Murray was causing problems for the Jags’ rearguard, and 10 minutes later he was played through on goal and his shot was blocked by Cairney, then he had another lobbed effort saved by the Forres number one.
The last chance of the half fell to Ian Wilson when he got on the end of a free-kick from Watson, but his flick went two yards wide of the post.
Four minutes after the break Greg Sinclair headed over from a Jordan Sutherland free-kick, and at the other end Ian Wilson chipped the ball over a stranded Sherman, but no-one could get on the end of it and the chance was gone.
Midway through the second half Chris Ross was booked for obstruction, then a quick break from Rovers ended with Sutherland’s effort deflected wide by Ross for a corner.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 76th minute. Cairney’s long ball was flicked on by Beck, and Currie drove into the penalty area to fire into the far left-hand corner of the net.
Buckie tried to respond instantly, only for Sutherland’s 20-yard effort to drift harmlessly past the post.
Beck almost capitalised on another poor kick from Sharman seven minutes from time, but his shot from 35 yards went a couple of yards wide.
Three minutes later Smith missed Rovers’ final chance when he could only head Scott Davidson’s cross into the arms of Cairney.
The match ended on a sour note for the Jags when Ross received his second yellow card from referee Ally Bruce for a late tackle and his second cup final red card of the season.
The celebrations continued for Forres afterwards, with Charlie Beck winning the player of year award for the First Division West, the first time a Jags player has won that accolade.
Forres Thistle: Luke Cairney, Aaron Maclean, Donald McCulloch, Chris Ross, John Watson, Danny Black, Brandon Hutcheson, Charlie Beck, Steven Currie, Ian Wilson, Matthew Davidson. Subs: Simon Bremner, Daniel Macleod, Scott Roy, Myko Lapka, Peter Wilson.
Buckie Rovers: Aaron Sherman, Nathan Walls, Bleu Innes, Greg Sinclair, Michael Gauld, Scott Mair, Callum Murray, Shaun Findlay, Nikki Smith, Jordan Sutherland, Kyle Gauld.
Subs: Harry Noble, Scott Davidson, Liam Wood, Neil Davidson, Craig Ferguson.