Groats put on champion display to sink Lybster
Reigning champions Wick Groats got their County League season off to a flying start with an impressive 7-2 demolition of Lybster.
James Mackay led the way with a superb hat-trick while Groats' other goals came from Mark Macadie, Ben Sinclair, Graham MacNab and a John Budge penalty.
Lybster in response netted via Jonah Martens' double.
Groats have dominated the county scene over the past decade, having won the last seven CAFA Division One titles.
Although this was the opening match of the champions' season, it would take a brave person to bet against them making it eight if they continue with this sort of form.
However, boss Kevin Anderson is not taking anything for granted.
"To be honest, I did not expect that scoreline," he said. "We were missing a number of lads through to illness and injuries so we were expecting a close game.
"However, we got off to a great start by going two up inside the first six minutes.
"The boys played really well in that first half and we came in at the break 5-1 up. Obviously we took our foot off the gas a little bit in the second half but they were a joy to watch in that opening half.
"James Mackay did well getting his hat-trick and Mark Macadie was brilliant throughout.
"I do feel for Lybster because they hadn't played badly. We just seemed to click and everything we did seemed to result in a goal.
"Lybster are a good team and shouldn't be discouraged with this result. They have some good players with plenty of pace and they will take points off other teams this season."
In Division Two, Watten came away from Halkirk with a point following a 1-1 draw.
A Lewis Jack screamer from 30 yards out gave the visitors the lead before Halkirk levelled through Michael Bremner.
Watten captain Scott Christie was full of praise for goalkeeper Douglas Metcalfe who kept Halkirk at bay.
He said: "Douglas had a great game in goal for us and he made a number of good saves.
"It would be fair to say his palms were stinging at full-time.
"Lewis scored a fantastic goal and we were playing well in the first half before they equalised. We're happy to come away with the point, though.
"As for the season ahead, promotion is probably a big ask but we've made a better start to the campaign than we did last season so we're hoping to build on that and see where it takes us."
Fixtures: Wednesday April 24 – Colin Macleod Memorial Cup, first round: Castletown v Staxigoe United (6.30pm), Thurso Acks v Pentland United (6.30pm), Top Joes v Thurso Swifts (6.30pm).
Monday, April 29 – CAFA Division One: Lybster v Pentland United (6.45pm), Staxigoe United v Castletown (6.45pm)
Tuesday, April 30: CAFA Division One: John O'Groats v Thurso Acks (6.45pm), Thurso Swifts v Wick Groats (6.45pm). CAFA Division Two: Wick Thistle v High Ormlie Hotspur (6.45pm).