THE Albert were sent spinning out the Challenge Cup in a match which was to be manager Mick Murphy’s last in charge of the ailing Hawick outfit.
The pattern for the game was set after only 30 seconds, when Michael Stewart’s cross from the left was nodded down by Des Chisholm for Andrew Douglas to smash home Duns’ opener from the edge of the box.
Duns took full advantage of this early momentum to dominate affairs with a string of corners, as Hawick struggled desperately even to get out of their own half.
Indeed, the only surprise was that it took the Dingers over half-an-hour to extend their lead. Chris Anderson pulled off a great save to keep out Steven McHoul’s drive from a flicked-on corner, but just a minute later a superb cross-field ball found Bruce Chisholm in plenty of space to place the ball home via the far post.
Finding their stride, Duns netted again in the 43rd minute, a top-corner peach from Stewart – and there was still time left in the half for Douglas to round Anderson in the Hawick goal and miss the empty net.
The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with Duns scoring within a minute of the restart, Jamie Lackenby on the left squaring the simplest of balls to Mark Weatherburn in the middle for the tap-in.
Lackenby then set up Bruce Chisholm for an equally simple finish, but the Duns striker inexplicably shot wide with the goal gaping.
Duns had only a minute to wait for their next goal, however, as Grant Keenan’s long shot came through a ruck of players to the unsighted Anderson, who could only parry the ball to Weatherburn for an easy finish.
Proceedings took an even worse turn for Royalists on the hour when Malcolm Cooper brought down Weatherburn in the box, Bruce Chisholm netting the resultant penalty.
A Stewart through ball ten minutes later saw Bruce Chisholm in again to slot Anderson, and when Cooper blocked a Ryan Burns shot on the line in the 73rd minute it was Stewart who popped up to turn home his second goal, and his side’s eighth.
Bruce Chisholm smashed the bar from close range just a minute later, before Duns were given another penalty for an alleged obstruction in the box, Stewart making no mistake to seal his hat-trick.
Bruce Chisholm grabbed his fourth when he prodded in a low cross from Stewart with ten minutes to go, during which time Duns spurned a series of chances to extend their lead.
With a visit to joint-bottom Ormiston on the cards next, the Albert will have to dramatically raise their game on the basis of this showing.