The fitness of Northern Storm was the determining factor to come from their comfortable 4-0 Coastal Premier League victory over Taree Wildcats on Saturday.
Christian Mirindi and James Gorrie both scored second-half braces as the Storm went on with the job after the Wildcats had competed for the opening 45 minutes.
Storm coach Eric McCarthy admitted the drycleaners wouldn’t have a full set of kits to wash such was the relative ease his side had to claim the three points.
“We were teasing our centre backs that they had the cleanest shirt and shorts coming off the field. We played in white,” he said.
“The two of those boys don’t need to wash their kits for next week, that’s how clean they were.”
The scores were locked at nil-all at halftime despite the Storm dominating large periods of the first half.
“In the first half Taree were chasing shadows but there was no end product from us,” McCarthy said.
“In the second half our possession became possession with purpose and we created chances and put them away.
“But I was very surprised at Taree. They’re far better than they were when we played them in the second round.”
The Wildcats’ cause wasn’t helped with injuries to attacking trio Jackson Witts, Dylan Murphy and Jedd Clarke.
“Too many injuries and we got tired,” coach Ben Sedlen said.
“Northern Storm are a very good team though, they’re the best in the competition outside of Coffs United.”
Sedlen remained upbeat about his team’s application despite the hurdles and challenges they have faced this season.
“We’re not concerned about results at the minute; we’re trying to build for the next couple of years,” he said.
“We’re a young team and they’re going to be better for the experience that’s for sure. We’re not as far off as everyone thinks we are.”
In other matches, Coffs City United breezed past Macleay Valley to register a 6-0 win while the Kempsey Saints and Sawtell match was postponed.
Coffs Coast Tigers host Boambee on Tuesday night in a catch-up fixture while Port United host Port Saints on Wednesday night in another rescheduled match.