Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Kevin Twaddle admits he’s stunned Sean Wringe hasn’t played at a higher level after seeing the striker grab a hat-trick in his side’s 6-4 win against Easthouses Lily.
Wringe struck his treble in the champions’ East of Scotland Qualifying League Section B victory at Newbattle Complex and his manager said: “How Sean has never had the opportunity to play at a higher level, I’ll never know!
“He’s a terrific talent who would probably be the first to admit he had one of his quieter games, but he’s still managed a hat-trick.”
Vale had Grant Munro ordered off after 20 minutes for a last-man challenge, but took the lead two minutes later through Scott Moffat.
Lily levelled through Kenny McMillan on the half-hour mark, but the goal blitz began on 65 minutes when Paul McDermott put the hosts ahead.
Wringe equalised within a minute when his shot squirmed underneath Steven Hay, and Scott Gormley converted his spot-kick after Steven Campbell fouled Moffat. Mark Brown made it three apiece a minute later, but Lily’s cause was not helped when Euan Smith was issued a straight red for a dangerous tackle.
Wringe restored Vale’s lead on 81 minutes with a back-post header before completing his hat-trick in the closing stages. Moffat scored the sixth goal.
Lily’s consolation came from substitute Ally Elliot in an exhilarating second half.
Easthouses manager Dave McQueenie praised the efforts of his newly-promoted Premier Division side despite the defeat.
“We conceded some poor goals, but it was our first game of the season against the league champions and I thought we acquitted ourselves well, particularly in the second half. That’s the quality we’re going to be up against this season.”
In other action in Section B, Heriot-Watt University defeated Hawick Royal Albert 3-1 thanks to two goals from Brian Anderson and another from Elliot Sutherland.
Leith Athletic were the biggest winners of the weekend as they thrashed Ormiston 6-0 at Recreation Park in Section D. Keith Murray netted a superb hat-trick having been promoted from Athletic’s Under-21 side. The other strikes came from Lewis Martin, Robbie Mason and Grant Burns.
Athletic manager Derek Riddel was thrilled with the performance of his team.
“To come through a potential banana-skin in the first game of the season, score six goals and keep a clean sheet is particularly pleasing and hopefully the start of something promising for the season.”
In Section A, Civil Service Strollers lost 1-0 at Burntisland Shipyard, but there was a 2-0 win for Spartans EOS at Eyemouth United with goals from Matthew Cunningham and Davey Stewart.
The Qualifying League matches continue this week. Tonight, Tynecastle open their account for the season with a home match against Peebles Rovers at Fernieside in Section E and Leith Athletic host Craigroyston at Meadowbank 3G in Section D.
Spartans EOS welcome Burntisland Shipyard to Ainslie Park, while Civil Service Strollers host Eyemouth United in Section A.
Tomorrow, Easthouses entertain Heriot-Watt University at Newbattle Complex while Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale meet Hawick Royal Albert at Saughton Enclosure.
All matches kick off at 7.45pm.