Although going down 3-1 to East Stirlingshire, Hawick Royal Albert put up a good show against the Ochilview Park side.
Although he has lacked match action and is still feeling his way back after a summer knee operation, Shire’s Andy Rodgers looks a class act at this level.
He eased Shire into an early advantage just seven minutes after kick-off; galloping onto a defence-splitting pass from Jamie Glasgow, controlling the ball and slipping it under the keeper into the net.
Whatever Rodgers offered was good enough for Shire on an afternoon when a lightning fast start to the game promised more than it eventually delivered.
Three minutes after Rodgers’ goal David Grant raced clear of Hawick’s poorly constructed offside trap to score past an exposed keeper.
Grant should have made it 3-0 after 18 minutes but was denied by a miraculous save and referee David Munro made sure things didn’t get too one-sided by turning a blind eye to two stonewall penalties for deliberate handball.
In fact, Shire were so far ahead it caused them to lose their way totally midway through the game.
The Royalists, to their credit, didn’t despair at their poor start and as Shire dawdled they attempted a comeback.
Josh Morris and Kris Mitchell both fired shots just wide of target and the home faithful stirred in their seats. Skipper Derek Ure geed his team from its complacency and, after 66 minutes, they put the game to bed with Grant finishing off a mazy penalty box dribble with a solid finish.
Rodgers could have had a second but his ambitious attempt to prod one in at the near post went wide. Then, after 70 minutes, he took his curtain call and a seat on the bench.
The visitors eventually had something to cheers in the closing stages when Josh Morris scored for Royalists.
Elsewhere, Hawick Waverley got a share of the spoils in drawing 3-3 with Greenlaw who ended the game with eight men due to having three players red carded.
With seconds of the game remaining Waverley were leading thanks to goals from Jordan Yardley (2) and Ross Cairns.
On the final whistle Greenlaw snatched a dramatic equaliser when Waverley defender Davis Hope headed the ball into his own net.
In what turned out to be a free scoring encounter, Hawick United outgunned EarlstonRhymers 8-3.
Fresh from a 4-1 midweek triumph over Gala Hotspur, United went in front through a Ross Scott encounter.
Further goals from Scott and Liam Lavery (2) then put the Tangerines into a commanding lead.
After Earlston had hit back to score twice, Declan Hogg made it five for United with asuperbly struck free kick.
Following another Rhymers strike, an Aidan Reilly goal and a brace from Kevin Strathdee completed the scoring.
A second half collapse resulted in Legion Rovers crashing 63 to Lauder.
Lauder drew first blood but a Charlie Mitchell goal direct from a corner and a John Shankie strike saw the lead change hands.
Lauder in turn equalised however, Shankie duly put Rovers ahead again through a penalty.
After Lauder had got on a level pegging, Rovers lost their way and conceded three goals.