Tollcross Thistle underlined their LEAFA Premier Division title credentials with an emphatic 9-0 victory over fellow challengers Edinburgh Rose at Portobello High School 3G.
Alan McKay’s side were in a menacing mood right from the kick-off with Scott Millar a constant threat down the right wing for Tollcross, and his cut back for Jason Bell saw the striker shoot over from inside the area early on.
Raymond Walker sent a header inches wide for Rose from a corner, but the deadlock was broken by Thistle on 23 minutes when Chris Cairns netted from close range.
Jonathan Robertson went close for the hosts on 35 minutes when he fired wide from 20 yards but it was Bell, who had earlier struck the post, who doubled the lead on 40 minutes.
Tollcross were lightening quick on the break with their front three causing havoc in the Rose rearguard, and Cairns made it three just before the break with a low shot into the bottom corner.
Chris Reid scored the fourth on the hour mark after a cross from Cairns, before he struck again three minutes later following a neat turn inside the Rose penalty area.
Thistle were showing no mercy to their opponents, who to their credit continued to battle away looking for a consolation.
Rose keeper Adam Lewis made a good block from a Reid free kick, but he could only parry the ball into the path of defender Ciaran Duffy who made no mistake on 78 minutes.
A double from the highly impressive Cairns in the final five minutes of the match saw him take his tally to four goals for the afternoon, with the pick of the bunch a cute chip over Lewis for the seventh goal on 85 minutes.
Hamish Flett completed the scoring in stoppage time and the victory ensured a healthy goal advantage for Thistle who have two games in hand over Sandys.
The Castleview side however remain in pole position at the top with a six point lead following a hard fought 3-2 win over Linlithgow Thistle.
Sandys finished the game with nine men following two red cards but goals from Robert McKenzie, Gordon Ramsay and a late free kick from James Reilly ensured a vital three points.
• Salveson into Final
Salvesen FC will face Tollcross in next month’s East of Scotland Cup Final after a 3-2 win over Craigshill Thistle at New Murrayfield Park.
Michael Yuill netted an impressive hat-trick for Salvesen with the Capital side three goals ahead by the 65th minute.
The Livingston outfit did threaten a late comeback with two goals in the final ten minutes but the Lothian West side held on for the final to be held at the Tony Macaroni Arena next month.
• Barca focus on Cup tie
Barca Milton 97 can now focus on their crunch Scottish Amateur Cup quarter-final tie with Oban Saints this weekend after a 1-1 draw against Clermiston Star in the LEAFA Championship.
James Air scored for Barca with Ryan Wilson on target for Clermiston.
St Bernard’s stay top of the table after a 2-0 win over Armadale Thistle at Royal High School, whilst Civil Service Strollers Amateurs defeated North Edinburgh Wanderers 3-1 in the semi-final of The Robertson Cup.