SLIGO Rovers' made the perfect start to their competitive season, as a hat-trick from Eric Odhiambo on his competitive debut crushed Crusaders.
Away from home and on an artificial surface, Ian Baraclough's men dominated play against a side who up until recently were still Irish League title contenders.
Paul O'Conor's 17th-minute shot was cleared off the line by Nathan Hanley, before Odhiambo got the opener, firing high over French goalkeeper Yohann Lacroix. David Cawley was set up by O'Conor six minutes before the break. He neatly chipped over Lacroix, who was off his line, as Aaron Greene loitered behind to tap it in.
Rovers' third came from a superb strike by for ex-Hereford United man Odhiambo. He completed his treble after Greene's corner was headed into his path by Jeff Henderson, for him to slot home.
Declan Caddell grabbed a consolation goal 15 minutes before the end, though it was only really team-mate Andy Smith who stood out for the home side.
CRUSADERS – Lacroix, King, Magowan, Robinson, Hanley, Clarke, Caddell, Snoddy, E McAllister (Dempster 88), D McAllister (Owens 71), Smith (Dillon 88)
SLIGO ROVERS – Rogers, Conneely, Gaynor, Henderson, Spillane, Greene, Russell (Maguire 62), O'Conor, Odhiambo (Ledwith 71), Cretaro, Cawley
Ref – R Crangle (Belfast)