WEST Garioch made the short journey to Oldmeldrum to face league leaders Formartine and produced a super performance to hit them for six.
Man of the match was substitute Neal Fantom making a rare appearance this season because of university commitments. Last season's top scorer did not disappoint after coming on for the injured Peter Douglas in the second half, with a well-taken hat-trick. Other scorers for Garioch were Bryce Davidson with a double and Callum McRitchie.
The opening 15 minutes was a dull affair with few chances at both ends.
Formartine had a rare chance in 16 minutes when the Garioch defence gave the ball away but the player pulled his shot wide.
Garioch first real effort on goal came from an Andi Bremner free-kick in 19 minutes on the left and Gordon Forsyth just failed to connect with a header at the far post.
In 29 minutes another Garioch free-kick saw the ball fall to Davidson in front of goal but his effort went past the post.
Ross Dingwall then brought a good save out of the Formartine keeper before the visitors went in front in 33 minutes when Andi Bremner pushed a great ball through the middle to DAVIDSON who finished in fine style.
The game continued until the break with Garioch in control and the home side struggling to even get into the game.
The second half started with Garioch on the attack again and another Andi Bremner free-kick saw a header from Davidson this time go narrowly over the crossbar.
The visitors went 2-0 up in 55 minutes after great play which ended with McRitchie setting FANTOM up for the first of his three goals.
This stung the home side into action and Garioch keeper Lewis Helme had to push a looping effort over the crossbar. Then a cross into the box was blazed over when it seemed easier to score.
It was 3-0 for Garioch in 60 minutes when Fantom fed the ball to McRITCHIE this time who knocked it home past the helpless keeper.
In 65 minutes Andi Bremner put FANTOM through for the striker's second and Garioch's fourth and just two minutes later it was 5-0 when good work by McRitchie on the left ended with DAVIDSON forcing the ball over the line.
With the game finished as a contest Garioch were happy to play out the final 20 minutes controlling the play in midfield.
The home side scored a consolation goal with five minutes remaining when the Garioch defence gave the ball away cheaply and a Formartine player took advantage of the situation for an easy strike.
FANTOM, however, was not finished yet and with two minutes to go he again broke clear of the Formartine defence and lifted the ball over the keeper to complete his hat-trick and the scoring.
After a disastrous performance against bottom club Newmachar Colts just two days earlier coach Sandy Bremner was delighted with the way his players responded to record such an emphatic win over a team challenging for the title.