IRVINE Rugby Club ran in a massive nine tries in a 59-10 home victory over a plucky Annan on Saturday.
For a change the Marress Men took an early lead and they then tore their opponents apart with fly-half Kris Hobson scoring a personal haul of 14 points and Danyl Davies and Martin McGonigal linking up well.
The opener arrived with just three minutes when, after Ruchin Filander was ruled to have knocked on, the home forwards simply pushed their counterparts off their own ball which was fed out to Welshman Davies who went over in the left corner for a try which Kris Hobson converted for a 7-0 lead.
Number two was almost a repeat of the first with Filander scoring in the right corner at the second time of asking after a scrum had been driven over the try line and again Hobson successfully converted.
Davies got his second of the afternoon straight from the restart when Filander gathered the kick and set the Welshman racing into the left corner and behind the posts to allow Hobson to make it 21-0 with just 15 minutes gone.
A series of penalties against the home side helped Annan reduce the deficit in 25 minutes when winger Willie Gray scored in the left corner but fly-half Craig McCann missed the conversion.
Annan hopes of a comeback were immediately dashed when the Irvine pack again pushed another scrum back a considerable distance before a quick exchange of passes ended with hooker Stuart Docherty barging over to clinch the bonus point – allowing Kris Hobson to show his prowess with the boot by drawing his conversion nicely inside the far post for a 28-5 advantage.
Davies completed a first-half hat-trick in 35 minutes after an excellent team handling move, with Hobson converting to make the score 35-5 at the break.
It was more of the same at the start of the second half and following a scrum, a terrific passing move involving Ryan O'Neil, Euan Morrison, Kris Hobson and captain Kevin Lang ended with the ball being shipped back across to Allan Spiers who ran in behind the posts to give Hobson another routine conversion.
Annan had a couple of half-chances midway through the second half but failed to make then count, Filander went over at the other end but the pass from Spiers was ruled forward however Irvine turned the resulting scrum, allowing Davies to race away to claim his fourth try in the left corner and Kris Hobson to slot his seventh successful kick and make it 49-5.
Patient Annan probing saw them notch their second try in 72 minutes but again McCann missed the conversion, however Irvine were not finished yet and they rounded off the scoring with another two tries in the closing minutes.
Firstly Kevin Lang released lock Gary Kerr who fed flanker Andrew Lang to score under the posts then Morrison intercepted his opposite number at a scrum and raced into the left corner to score.
Hobson failed with both conversions but the final score was still a very respectable 59-10.
Irvine are now seven points behind second-placed Marr and five clear of fourth-placed Glasgow Academicals after both sides missed out on a bonus point and they now visit East Kilbride, who lie sixth and have only lost at home to Marr and Glasgow Academicals so far, and then only by an aggregate of four points.
Marress warmed up for their trip to Bellsland to take on Kilmarnock 3rds with a 38-7 friendly win over Cartha Queen's Park 3rds at Dumbreck.
Martin Sneddon and Stuart Tracey scored two apiece, and there were singles for John Murdoch and 17-year-old debutant Ryan Harrison who reportedly had an outstanding game.
Tracey and Chris Saunderson scored two conversions each.