RHU Amateurs’ Caledonian League team boss says he was thrilled at the way his players started the new season last Saturday.

Shaun Wallace led the way with two memorable goals at the DCF Park, while Kyle Sharkey, Adam Sharkey, Paul Cavana and Garry Stillwell weighed in with a goal apiece as Rhu defeated Milton Amateurs, newly crowned champions of the Stirling Summer League, 6-4.

Afterwards boss Stewart Maule said: “I was absolutely delighted with the effort and attitude of the whole squad today and some of the football that was played to go 5-1 up was a joy.

“If the players continue to stay focused, committed and show the same character they’ll reap the rewards.”

In overcast conditions, Rhu struggled to find their rhythm in the first 30 minutes, with keeper William Brown making some important saves on his return to action.

But the hosts made the breakthrough after some fine build-up play down the right hand side, before some dazzling footwork from Kyle Sharkey saw him round the Milton keeper for an easy finish.

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The Bannockburn-based visitors equalised soon afterwards, but the loss of their advantage seemed to galvanise the home team into action and everything started to click into place.

Rhu were rewarded just before half-time when Milton’s keeper could only parry a Wallace strike and Paul Cavana pounced on the rebound to give the hosts the interval advantage.

And the home side came out with their tails up at the start of the second half, taking the game to their visitors, with Adam Sharkey soon making it 3-1 with a low drive to the left of the Milton keeper.

With their tails up, Rhu were now dominating possession, and Wallace made it four with a superb individual goal, picking the ball up 25 yards out before dribbling towards goal, evading several tackles and leaving defenders bouncing off him before slotting the ball coolly into the net.

Milton were looking slightly shell-shocked at this point, and some great interplay by Stillwell and Wallace on the left saw Stillwell’s cross diverted into the net for goal number five.

With what looked like a comfortable lead, Rhu made several changes, and the substitutions seemed to have an effect on their momentum, with Milton pulling one goal back.

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Any thoughts of a fightback by the visitors looked to have been dispelled when Wallace scored a goal he had no right to by dribbling in from the right, leaving three defenders on the floor and finishing from what seemed an impossible angle.

But Milton refused to throw in the towel, and scored twice more in the final 10 minutes before only an incredible goal-line clearance by McVey in the 88th minute stopped the final stages from being too nerve-racking for the home support.

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THE Rhu squad were kitted out for the first time in their new kit, which pays homage to the Rhu team which won the Scottish Amateur Cup way back in 1967.

The retro kit is once again sponsored by Babcock, who are continuing an association with the club dating back many years.

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RHU travelled to Stirling on Wednesday night to take on Cambusbarron Rovers, losing 3-1 in the first of an away double-header – to be followed this Saturday, August 14, by a trip to Lanarkshire to face Holytown Colts.

Meanwhile, Rhu’s Greater Glasgow Premier AFL team begin their competitive season this Saturday with a League Cup tie against their Oban Saints counterparts.

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The link-up between Rhu and Helensburgh Amateurs, announced in April, means there’s now the chance for Rhu to challenge on two fronts for the first time in several years.

Sam Gemmell, coach of the club’s Greater Glasgow team, said: “Since the coming together of the two teams everything has gone really well.

“Training nights have been well attended and the friendly games we have played have been a good work out in the run up to the season’s start.

“There’s certainly a bit of pressure on us now to replicate the start made on Saturday by the Caley team and hopefully both teams will be able to push each other throughout the season to positive results.”

Saturday’s match between Rhu and Oban at the DCF Park starts at the earlier than usual time of 1pm.