A LANDSLIDE defeat did nothing to dampen the spirits at Fort Matilda on Saturday, as Premier 1 side Glasgow Hawks proved too hot to handle for the Wanderers.

The match was the show piece of a celebratory weekend for the local team, who will now have the stability of playing in front of their new clubhouse week-in-week-out.

It was this end they defended in the first half, with a blustery gale blowing in their faces and playing havoc with the high-ball game.

Wanderers kicked off, and found themselves with an early penalty opportunity, which stand-off Ant Devlin slotted over to settle the locals" nerves.

This brought wry shouts of "blow the final whistle" from the sidelines, but the fans lining the pitch could not have known just how many tries would eventually be run in as the home side were overwhelmed by a Hawks team that compounded every slight error.

The first Glasgow score came from slow ball out of a Wanderers scrum, the clearing kick being charged down and the ball coming to visiting stand-off Stephen Biggart for an easy try. Chris Breckenridge pulled the conversion as the wind continued to blow.

Full back David Watson showed some guile in attack, collecting his own chip forward down the line, but the Hawks were tidy in defence and slowed the ball down.

After 12 minutes, two turnovers led to another Wanderers kick being charged down, Sinclair popped the ball out to Sean Murray for his first of three tries. Again the conversion was missed, and the score stood at 3-10.

Dunk added another, this time finely converted by Breckenrigde, before Callum Robb produced an excellent tap-tackle to prevent another certain try. The Hawks, however, managed to recycle the ball, and Francis touched down to take the score to 3-24.

In 24 minutes Wanderers produced a fantastic attacking move in a rare sojourn into the Hawks 22.

Devlin played the ball on to Clark, who fed Giovannacci before receiving the ball back and playing it out to Smith, but Hawks broke it up and cleared.

Devlin then sent the ball spiralling out into space on the left, but Wright failed to take it in and Hawks again cleared.

Even though the score was against them, the Wanderers were producing some inventive rugby, but were largely playing the game in their own half, and the Hawks were keen to pounce on any mistakes the locals made on the floor.

An unconverted fifth try followed from a set-piece, before Hawks winger-playing-centre Stevie Gordon produced a great cutting run, slicing through a spacious defence to touchdown, but again the conversion was missed and the score stood at 3-34.

Wanderers" lineouts remained a strong point, but they couldn"t build on possession until just on half-time, when Chris Clark scored a fine try. It looked as though the ball would be played wide, but Clark received the ball and straightened his run to blast through the Hawks line to score between the post. Devlin converted, so at 10-34 there was a ray of hope as the first half ended.

The Hawks added a to their tally early on in the second, Gordon again crossing the line, before another attack by Watson led to a knock-on by Breckenridge, but Devlin"s inside ball from an untidy scrummage was picked off.

Winger Murray zig-zagged over the line for his second, Ian Noble being the next Hawk to be unsuccessful with the conversion, the score standing at 10-44.

Gordon notched another, this time Michael Dickinson fluffing the kick, and the Hawks won the ball from kick-off allowing flanker Niall Cadell to score an unconverted try.

With a quarter of the game remaining, Wanderers pushed for some consolation, Watson feeding Mark Coyle after intercepting on the Hawks 22-metre line.

The home side moved the ball through three tidy phases, before winning a penalty, quickly taken by McDougall. With the scrum-half in contact, there were not enough numbers over on the left, and when Murray picked the ball off it would have taken an intergalactic space shuttle fueled with dynamite to stop him scoring his third, as he hared up the pitch and underneath the posts. After a successful conversion the home side were faced with a 61-10 deficit.

Wanderers then went close from a fine move, the lineout won on the Hawks 22, Clark broke the defence with an angled run, before Neil Paterson was at the centre of a valiant attempt for the line, but referee Graeme Knox judged that the big second row had been held up.

Robb was next to challenge for the line, roared on by a packed clubhouse, as replacement David Murray took the ball on and stepped inside one man, pirouetted outside another and crossed the line, converted by Devlin.

The Hawks added 12 more points in the last 10 minutes, a fine passing move by the forward division, and then another solo effort from Gordon, and the Wanderers themselves had pressure late on, but lost a scrum against the head after a succession of penalties.

Despite the 17-73 defeat, Wanderers coach Dave McVey insisted he has been impressed by the effort and commitment shown by his players, in what has been somewhat of a transitional season.

He said: 'I"m very proud of the boys, they stuck well to the task. It"s been a difficult season, with no facilities to train or prepare, but now that the facilities are back, the level of performance will come back too.

'We have a young side, but all it would take would be a senior player or two coming back, and the team would feed off that experience.

'They showed guts, and determination, and nobody can take that away. If you put the work in, you get the rewards. And it"s great to get back to Fort Matilda, it"s the heartbeat of the team.' Wanderers: D. Watson, N. Wright, S. Giovannacci, C. Clark (C), J. Smith, A. Devlin, A. McDougall, A. Abernethy , C. Robb, J. McKenna, M. Gray, N. Paterson, G. Paterson, A. McMichael, M. Coyle Replacements used - J. Wright, D. Paton, D. Murray, R. Lavelle.

Wanderers are sponsored by National Semiconductor (UK) Ltd.