Tristan Fraser and Bryce Ruthven close in on the ball.
Tristan Fraser and Bryce Ruthven close in on the ball. CHRIS ISON

Hat-trick has coach smiling

BRYCE Ruthven does not believe in scoring single goals.

He likes the idea of getting them in threes.

On Sunday the Webbers Retravision Cougars proved too good for the visiting Whitsunday Miners, winning the match at Ryan Park 5-0.

Ruthven was dangerous, scoring the first three goals to put the game out of reach for the visitors.

To be fair to the Miners it was a young and inexperienced team, with Daniel Scotton, Brett Neeve and keeper Brad Moss the only players who have been with the club for a long period.

The Cougars were on top virtually from the start, and took the lead when Fergus McIntosh ran the ball at the Miners defence, drew players to him and slipped the ball right to Ruthven, who hammered it home.

The rest of the half was a procession towards the Miners’ goal, with Ruthven close six times.

He was not alone, with Moss having to make diving saves from Anthony Hartnell and McIntosh, while also tipping a Michael Cay corner on to the crossbar.

A one-goal lead at the interval was not the best cushion the Cougars could have had but it proved to be enough.

Early in the second half the ever-dangerous McIntosh broke down the flank again and squared the ball to Ruthven, who smashed it home from 10 metres.

Moss was the busiest player on the park and he earned his keep by first saving from McIntosh, then tipping over a shot from Cay after the resulting corner.

That gave the Cougars a further corner, with Moss pulling off a brilliant reaction save from a glanced Fraser header.

After Ruthven completed his hat-trick youngster Jordan Miller marked his debut by steering the ball home to make it four, while Tristan Fraser broke the offside trap and added the fifth.

Smiling coach Brad Smith said his players had spoken about being better than their ladder position but they had to prove it.

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