REMARKABLY the first day of the Lowland League and East of Scotland season was hit by postponements as heavy rain struck on Saturday morning.

The Dundonald Bluebell v Crossgates Primrose EoS Premier derby at Moorside was postponed so only two local sides saw action but Kelty Hearts started their bid to win the Lowland title with a highly impressive win over Dalbeattie Star, while in the EoS Premier League, Hill of Beath Hawthorn came back from looking dead and buried at Sauchie, to earn a point.

Kelty Hearts 8,

Dalbeattie Star 0.

HEARTS ground Star down and could have reached double figures as the visitors completely folded in the second-half, at New Central Park.

Kelty started positively, against the team who defied them on a couple of occasions last season, and put the visitors under early pressure.

There were a few close calls before the home team took the lead in six minutes when Scott Linton’s free-kick curled into the net.

Hearts were looking for a second but in 21 minutes Star threatened with a free-kick which Ben Mackenzie dealt with well.

Shortly after Stephen Husband found Chris Dodd but he sliced his finish wide.

Eleven minutes from the break Hearts got the second. Dylan Easton made a good run into the Star box and he found Husband and he tucked the ball away from close in.

Two minutes later Easton scored himself when he did his own thing with a fine piece of work before firing home.

The warning signs were up for Dalbeattie and inside the first minute of the second period Nathan Austin was on the mark to add a fourth and as the Star defence started to really struggle the former East Fife player sent the home team nap.

Dalbeattie were at sixes and sevens at the back as their midfield collapsed and in 53 minutes Husband cracked a fine shot from outside the box high over the ‘keeper.

Kelty were all over the visitors and there was no threat to Mackenzie at all and in 57 minutes a penalty, after a rash challenge, saw Austin complete his hat-trick from the spot.

After the mayhem since the break, Star started to get back into the game and they came close with quarter of an hour left but with five minutes still on the clock Kelt got their eighth from Ross Mutch.

A good start to the campaign and interestingly the Lowland League table, after one game, looks a lot like the East Super League did a few years back, with Bonnyrigg Rose and Hearts at the top of the table!

Sauchie 2,

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2.

VERY much a game of two halves was this Premier League opener for Haws and Sauchie.

The visitors started the game very weakly and Sauchie swarmed over the Hill of Beath midfield and went ahead in 12 minutes when, from a corner, a header was bulleted into the net.

The home side continued to pose problems for the Keirs Parkers and chances were being created.

The Haws managed to keep them out until the 37th minute when the second arrived.

There were a couple of half chances for the visitors but little in the way of good openings created.

A couple of changes at the break seemed to change things as the Haws started to take over and there were some good openings being created with Lewis Elder going close twice.

However, the Sauchie defence was working hard and seemed to be able to have the measure of their opposing attackers.

However, with 11 minutes to go Rory Harrower sent a ball into the box and Lee Reid met it to send a powerful header into the net.

Sauchie were struggling now and Elder went through and shot wide and then Joe Kirby might have done better from a good position.

It seemed as if Sauchie could survive, but four minutes into time added on the equaliser came. Kirby held off a challenge and sent over a lovely cross and Lewis Payne was on the spot to head home.

So a point gained after a poor first-half performance, something acknowledged by Haws manager Kevin Fotheringham: “We were really very poor in the first 45 minutes.

“We simply were not controlling any phase of the game and we probably did well to get to the break only two down.

“We made a couple of changes and it made a difference and the only real disappointment was that it took us until the last ten minutes to get the first goal.

“After that we were in control but there were a few misses and I thought is it going to be one of these days, but then came Lewis Payne’s goal.

“It is a big week coming up with two home games against Jeanfield and Dunbar and we have to look to build on that second-half performance.”

Fixtures, Wednesday, East of Scotland Premier League, Crossgates Primrose v Broxburn Athletic, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Jeanfield Swifts (both 7.30pm).

Saturday, Lowland League, Edu Sports Academy v Kelty Hearts (3pm). East of Scotland Premier League, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Dunbar United, Crossgates Primrose v Boness United, Newtongrange Star v Dundonald Bluebell (all 2.30pm). East Super League, Livingston United v Lochore Welfare (2.30). South Division, Lochgelly Albert v Boness United JFC (2.30)