GARY Kerr netted twice as Nairn County made it a deadly double over Buckie Thistle by sinking the Highland League champions for the second time this season with victory at a boggy Station Park.
County made the ideal start with Gary Kerr opening the scoring two minutes in. Adam Naismith whipped in a corner from the left and Gary Kerr got there first as he flashed home a header at the near post.
Buckie almost responded immediately but Dylan Maclean thwarted John McLeod as he ran through on goal after receiving an Andrew Skinner forward pass.
Then, at the other end, MacRae and Cohen Ramsay just failed to smuggle the ball home as Buckie booted clear from the goal line.
County threatened again on 15 minutes when MacRae did superbly well to pull down a high ball and turn in the box but his low effort across goal was touched wide by diving Buckie goalkeeper Daniel Bell, with the stopper pulling off a fine stop.
MacRae went close again three minutes later but Kerr's cross from the left bounced just in front of the striker and he diverted the ball over the top. Then, the same player let fly from edge of the box but Bell was equal to it as he dived to his right to make another fine block.
A great through pass from Cohen Ramsay put Kenny McKenzie in on goal but with time to pick his spot, he was thwarted by the alert Bell.
Dylan Maclean then excelled himself at the other end on 36 minutes as he sprawled himself to deny Kai Ross at the far post after a Buckie corner had dropped to the midfielder.
As in the first half, Nairn made a lightning start to double their lead three minutes after the restart. Kerr slipped the ball to Ramsay on the left and Jordan MacRae ran on to the wide man's cross but was denied by Bell. The ball came back to the Nairn striker though and he smuggled it home from a tight angle.
Kerr just could not quite stretch out enough of a leg to turn home Jack Maclean's cross from the right as the centre forward went in search of his second of the afternoon on 57 minutes.
But the striker had his second of the game five minutes later. MacRae advanced in along the by-line on the right and pulled the ball back to Gary Kerr and although his first shot was blocked by Ciaran McLean, the ball dropped to the striker's feet and he smashed home from six yards.
It got even better for Nairn on 67 minutes. Adam Naismith's in-swinging free kick from the left bounced up off the crossbar and as it dropped, Jack Maclean fell backwards to bicycle kick the ball home from about a yard.
Bell prevented it getting worse for Buckie 10 minutes from the end when he spread himself superbly to block Dylan Mackenzie's header off a corner from the left.
The County sub went close again on 87 minutes after running on to a great Ramsay through pass but he could only smash the ball into the side netting at the near post.
Nairn switched off and gave Buckie a consolation on 88 minutes when a long ball over the top was smashed across goal and into the far corner by the left boot of John McLeod.
Nairn County - D. Maclean, Porritt (yellow 41), Trialist (y 30), A. Naismith, Glenn Main, K. McKenzie, J. Maclean, L. MacDonald, Kerr (D. Mackenzie 74), MacRae, Ramsay (y 82). Subs unused: R. Naismith, Ednie, Munro, Ewan, M. Macleod, R. Macleod (gk).
Buckie Thistle - Bell, Anderson, Dorrat, Carrol (yellow 34), Murray, Skinner, Taylor, McLeod, McLean (y 55), Cheyne (y 29) (Milne 66), Ross (Maitland 53). Subs unused: Bruce, Strong (gk).
Referee - Darren Munro.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.