BUCKIE Thistle are champions of the Highland League.

We are the champions...Buckie Thistle. Photo: Becky Saunderson

The Jags won it in style with a 9-0 thrashing of Strathspey Thistle on the final day of the season.

Chris Angus (4), John McLeod (3), Kevin Fraser and Stuart Taylor got the goals which saw them crowned champions.

Buckie blew the Grantown side away in the opening 19 minutes with a four goal blast, which included a nine minute hat-trick by Angus.

Assistant manager Lewis MacKinnon and some young fans.

Assistant manager Lewis MacKinnon and some young fans.

Captain Kevin Fraser got the other goal as Buckie sealed the win in a blistering start.

John McLeod added a fifth eight minutes before half-time.

McLeod completed  his hat-trick with goals on 54 and 61 minutes, taking  his tally for the season to 46 goals.

Manager Graeme Stewart with young fan Jordan Tallis, son of the Buckie director of football.

Manager Graeme Stewart with young fan Jordan Tallis, son of the Buckie director of football.

Sub Stuart Taylor made it 8-0 and Angus added his fourth goal to complete the rout with 15 minutes remaining.

Buckie won the title on goal difference from Cove Rangers who were 5-0 winners against Lossiemouth at Kynoch Park.

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart said: “I am delighted. It is an unbelievable achievement.

“We have taken boys who maybe weren’t wanted elsewhere and we have moulded a team together.

“In my opinion this team can go on and challenge at the top end of the Highland League for a long time and I am very proud of them.”

Stewart,  won the league as a player with Buckie six years ago, added: “We had the best players then and I think we have the best players now but we have coached them and moulded them into this.

“We have great characters in the squad and a lot of them are friends. It is the proudest moment of my life so far.

Smile boys: James Fraser, Kevin Fraser, John McLeod, Andy Skinner and Sam Urquhart.Photo: Becky Saunderson

Smile boys: James Fraser, Kevin Fraser, John McLeod, Andy Skinner and Sam Urquhart. Photo: Becky Saunderson

“The fans deserved that. It was almost a bit flat because there were too many goals.

“I am proud and delighted. I think we have been the best team and the most entertaining team.”

Buckie president Garry Farquhar said: “I am still quite shell-shocked. I have been tense right up until we were 2-0 up.

Lewis MacKinnon, Jamie Shewan, Graeme Stewart, Sandra Paterson and Andy Low. Photo: Becky Saunderson

Lewis MacKinnon, Jamie Shewan, Graeme Stewart, Sandra Paterson and Andy Low. Photo: Becky Saunderson

“When we went 4-0 up I started to think ‘Oh my god, we are going to win the league’.

“We are away above where we ever hoped to be and it has been phenomenal. The fact it has happened so quickly it testament to the management.

Party on. The Buckie players get the celebrations going in the dressing room.

Party on. The Buckie players get the celebrations going in the dressing room.

“Lewis, Spider, Andy Low and Marra – it just works. We are Highland League champions and it is incredible.

“We play a good style of football and the talent we have on the park is incredible. The one thing I have worked with, along with Spider is to tie up these guys. We have this squad here for the next three seasons at least.

“To win the league in the first full season that his (Spider’s) influence came into the team is awesome.”

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart raises the league trophy. Photo: Becky Saunderson

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart raises the league trophy. Photo: Becky Saunderson

Player assistant manager Lewis Mackinnon said: “When me and Spider took over two years ago we couldn’t have envisaged this.

“What a performance today; it was superb. Our game plan was to get at them with pace.

“They are young, they are fit and they are hungry. They are a great bunch of boys and all in their mid-20s and this team can go on for years.

Top goalscorer John McLeod and goalkeeper Daniel Bell celebrate. Photo: Becky Saunderson

Top goalscorer John McLeod and goalkeeper Daniel Bell celebrate. Photo: Becky Saunderson

“This season has been brilliant. There is no pressure now and we can go and enjoy the play-offs.”

Buckie will welcome Lowland League champions East Kilbride to Victoria Park next Saturday, followed by the second leg away from home the following Saturday.

The winner of that match up will play home and away games against the bottom side in SPFL League Two.

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