ADAM McCULLOCH bagged a remarkable haul of seven goals in two games as Rhu Amateurs bounced back from a long lay-off with back-to-back Caledonian League wins over Rothesay Brandane and Bearsden.

The Ardenconnel Park team, who have been on the wrong end of a few heavy league defeats in the course of their 2017-18 campaign, showed every sign of wanting to put a disappointing winter behind them, following up a 5-2 win at home to their island opponents with a 5-3 victory away to long-time rivals Bearsden.

After several weeks of weather-enforced inaction for Rhu, Rothesay, who came into the two sides’ meeting boasting a good run of recent form, took advantage of their hosts’ ring-rustiness when they went ahead only five minutes in after Rhu’s defenders failed to clear their lines.

And with the home side sitting too deep, Rothesay made it 2-0 with just 10 minutes on the clock after another goalmouth scramble.

At that point Rhu could have been forgiven for expecting another tough afternoon, but the hosts gradually settled down, playing a higher line, and after some good pressure on the Rothesay goal Adam McCulloch reduced the deficit after being played through on goal by Derek Livingston.

Most of the game was being played in the Rothesay half now and it was no surprise when Rhu levelled after half an hour, McCulloch again converting, this time after being put through by Scott Leishman.

Rothesay were really struggling to cope with McCulloch’s threat up front, and the striker bagged his hat-trick from a Shaun Mitchell pass to complete Rhu’s comeback and put the hosts 3-2 up at the break.

The second half started fairly evenly, with both teams coming close; it was clear the next goal would be vital, and it was Rhu who got it on the hour mark when McCulloch dispossessed a Rothesay defender, broke forward and fired home his fourth.

It was well and truly Rhu’s game now, and with time running out the hosts made it five when a cross-cum-shot by Fraser McCaughey caught out the Rothesay keeper and found the back of the net.

Rhu followed up that promising win with a 5-3 midweek win away to old rivals Bearsden – though again they had to battle back from a poor start to secure the point.

Despite having almost a full squad to pick from, Rhu were behind after only five minutes after a Bearsden corner went in off a defender – and the hosts’ big striker doubled his team’s lead ten minutes later despite Rhu’s claims for offside.

McCulloch pulled one back after being played through by Mitchell, and Rhu drew level when McCulloch got in front of his marker to convert a Livingston cross.

And it was a case of ‘same again’ for McCulloch, who completed Rhu’s comeback with his second hat-trick in a week just before half-time.

Mitchell and McCulloch were still giving Bearsden problems after the break and paired up again for Rhu’s fourth, this time with McCulloch setting up Mitchell to finish from the edge of the box.

Bearsden’s big centre forward pulled it back to 4-3 after outstripping the Rhu defence, but the visitors, far from taking cold feet, came back strongly and clinched the points when McCulloch set up substitute Brandon Pitt to fire home the fifth from the edge of the box.