Ross County marked their return to the Premiership with a convincing 3-0 opening day victory over Hamilton Accies.
The Staggies dominated from start to finish on a day in which they unfurled the Championship flag following last season’s title success, with goals from Joe Chalmers, Billy Mckay and Ross Stewart seeing off Brian Rice’s men.
County included two of their summer signings in the starting line-up, with goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw and Chalmers making their league debuts.
The Staggies started brightly, with Josh Mullin hitting the wall with an early free kick after Ciaran McKenna had been penalised for blocking Iain Vigurs’ shot with his hand.
The Staggies made a claim for another handball on eight minutes when Liam Fontaine’s header from a Josh Mullin corner was scrambled clear by the Accies defence, however referee Alan Newlands was unmoved.
County were doing all the probing, with Chalmers off target with a curling strike from the edge of the box on 29 minutes, however the former Inverness player was not to be denied from a virtually identical position just 60 seconds later. Mckay worked the ball into Chalmers’ path, with the midfielder catching the ball sweetly with a crisp low first time strike which nestled in Owain Fon Williams’ bottom right corner.
The Staggies doubled their lead just six minutes later, with Ross Stewart robbing John Hunt of possession before crossing for strike partner Mckay to sweep home at the far post.
County were cruising, with Fon Williams doing well to block Mullin’s powerful strike just before half time.
The visitors made a decent start to the second half, with Ross Laidlaw forced to make smart saves to deny Ross Cunningham and Blair Alston.
County put the game beyond doubt on 57 minutes however, with Stewart afforded a free header from Mullin’s free kick to plant home a third goal.
The Staggies could have netted further, with Mckay heading Sean Kelly’s delivery over, before substitute Brian Graham hit the roof of the net with a chipped effort late on, however the damage had long since been inflicted on the Lanarkshire men.