A bitterly cold wind swept over Netherdale on Saturday, but hot-shot striker Des Sutherland turned on the heat for Gala Fairydean Rovers with four blistering goals.
Four goals that helped gain Gala a well-earned win as well as a second-round place in the King Cup.
Hitman Sutherland was rightly delighted with his scoring spree and told The Southern: “It was my first start for a while as I have been suffering with a groin injury, so it was just great to score four goals.
“I got phenomenal support, though, as all of the goals were set up for me. Somehow, I always seem to do well against Hawick as I have scored a few hat-tricks against them in past seasons.”
Following two big defeats in succession, Gala shook off the blues through a fine team showing. In the first period in particular, the Netherdale side ruled the roost through some slick passing football.
Hawick came more into the scene in the second period, but it was Gala’s day by far.
Rovers manager Steven Noble said: “I thought we played well in the first half and were right on top, but we took our foot off the gas and Hawick came in to the game for a spell. I found this frustrating, but we got things sorted out.”
The game got off to a fast start. Fairydean took the lead in the opening minutes when Dean McColm whipped a corner over the face of the goalmouth and Sutherland rattled the ball home.
Sutherland did the business again in the 34th minute, following almost non-stop pressure from his team, with an excellent diving header on meeting a perfectly-flighted Michael Fairburn cross.
Six minutes later, Hawick reduced the leeway in a rare attack. Gala attempted to clear a loose ball, but Albert’s Kevin Strathdee stepped forward to slot it into the net.
Gala came raging back and on the stroke of half-time Sutherland completed his hat-trick with another well-taken strike when meeting an Andrew Hardie cross.
Hawick came out showing a bit more purpose after the changeover, but a lot of sting had vanished and the first quarter of an hour was something of a non-event.
The action slowly began to pick up, though, and in the 69th minute Gala added to their tally. Sutherland blasting a glorious shot past keeper Andy Jack after being fed by a David Bonnar pass.
In the 77th minute McColm polished off a good build-up move with a spot-on finish.