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Highland League round-up: Comfortable wins for title challengers Brechin City, Fraserburgh and Buckie Thistle takes title chase to the final week

By Craig Christie

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Buckie Thistle made it four wins in a week after coming from behind to defeat Deveronvale on Saturday.

Buckie's Jack MacIver celebrates his first goal in the 6-1 win over Deveronvale on Saturday. Picture: Beth Taylor
Buckie's Jack MacIver celebrates his first goal in the 6-1 win over Deveronvale on Saturday. Picture: Beth Taylor

With leaders Brechin City and second-placed Fraserburgh also winning convincingly, the three-way battle for the title looks like going to the final day.

Jags hosted neighbours Deveronvale, who recently held them to a goalless draw in Banff.

Vale took the lead through Cameron Angus’ fourth goal in three games after 14 minutes.

Lyall keir quickly levelled for Buckie who then took the lead through Jack Murray’s 21st goal of the season from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time.

Keir added his second midway through the second half and in a late burst, Jags added three more with Jack MacIver grabbing a brace and Max Barry also on target in a 6-1 win.

Buckie host Strathspey tonight, with a victory being enough to take Graeme Stewart’s side level on points with Brechin, whose goal difference is currently nine better than Buckie’s. The teams meet again in Grantown on Wednesday, and Jags complete their season with a home match against Keith on Saturday.

Highland League table
Highland League table

Brechin also got an early shock at home to Forres Mechanics when on-loan Nairn County forward Sam Gordon edged the visitors in front.

But the Tayside outfit responded in the same way as Buckie and netted six times.

Grady McGrath levelled with his 34th goal of the season and Seth Patrick made it 2-1 at the break. Matty Wright, Fraser MacLeod and own goals from Cans’ defenders Sam Nixon and Callum Howarth completed the home tally.

Brechin are in action tomorrow night at Keith and finish with a trip to Brora on Saturday.

Fraserburgh are still in the hunt after winning 5-1 at Strathspey Thistle, who they meet again in the coming week.

Scott Barbour made it 25 goals for the campaign with a double and Aiden Sopel, Logan Watt and Kieran Simpson (pen) also found the net for Broch, with Jack Davison’s 11th of the season for Jags providing a consolation.

Broch must finish with two wins and hope for slip-ups elsewhere. They host Brora on Wednesday and welcome Strathspey to Bellslea Park on Saturday.

An Aaron Reid hat-trick inside the opening 25 minutes paved the way for Formartine United’s 6-1 win over Rothes.

Bruce Milne’s long distance strike got one back for the Speysiders before half time but a Scott Lisle double and a Graeme Rodger effort added to United’s lead after the break.

Huntly and Nairn County finished their season with a goalless draw at Christie Park, while Lossiemouth and Turriff United replicated their 0-0 stalemate from a few weeks ago by drawing a blank at Grant Park.

Banks O’ Dee struck at the death to consolidate fourth spot with a 2-1 win at Brora Rangers.

Tony Dingwall had the Cattachs ahead at half time before Garry Wood’s 75th minute penalty levelled, and Ethan Cairns’ 13th of the season - four of those in a loan spell at Forres - proved to be the winner on 90 minutes.

Jay Halliday’s first half effort was enough to give Inverurie Locos a 1-0 success against Clach, while goals by Gordon MacNab and Marc MacGregor in the closing 15 minutes earned Wick Academy a 2-0 success at home to Keith.

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