RHU Amateurs made light of a massively depleted squad to record a superb 4-1 win away to Westerlands in their opening group tie in the Caledonian League’s President’s Cup tournament last Wednesday.

Work commitments and illness left the Rhu ranks missing several regular players, and against a Westerlands side who had won both league matches between the teams earlier in the campaign, Rhu could have been forgiven if they’d prepared for the worst.

But in a 3-5-2 formation, the makeshift Rhu side started well, forcing a couple of good early saves from the Westerlands keeper and visibly gaining confidence from their positive start.

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And the visitors took a richly-deserved lead when good work by Scullion set up Burns to send over a great cross, which Smith headed powerfully into the net.

Westerlands, though, were soon level when their tricky number 10 found space down the left and finished in the bottom corner past keeper Ainslie.

Despite the loss of the equaliser, Rhu continued to press, playing some good stuff and controlling the game for long spells – though they were limited to a couple of half chances in what remained of the first half as the teams went into their interval huddles level at 1-1.

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Rhu, though, started the second half where they had left off, pressing high up the pitch and giving Westerlands no time on the ball, and the visitors took the lead for a second time when Burns won the ball out wide and sent over a cross which was volleyed in at the back post by Maule.

The visitors continued to push forward, and stretched their lead when that man Burns found strike partner Stewart Fraser, and the veteran got the goal his work-rate deserved to make it 3-1.

And Burns, having been provider for the first three goals, capped a great individual performance and a fine team display when he rounded the Westerlands keeper and rolled number four into the empty net.

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Rhu’s battling performance gives them a great chance of qualifying from the group stage; their second tie is a crucial home fixture against Eaglesham on Wednesady, April 24, kicking off at 7pm.

Team: Ainslie, Yeoman, Fagan, McVey, Maule, Grant, Scullion, Laird, Smith, Burns, Fraser, Milne (sub).

Rhu’s AGM will be held in the clubhouse at 7pm on Monday, April 29, and all positions are open for nominations.