Lambton Jaffas coach James Pascoe believes his squad will be hard to stop for the rest of the season if they repeat their effort from a 3-0 win over last-placed Valentine on Saturday.
Third before the round 17 game at Edden Oval, Jaffas moved to second on 30 points, three behind Edgeworth, with the dominant performance featuring goals from Tom Waller, Ryan Griffiths and Braedyn Crowley.
“It was a good professional performance, and everyone was sort of an eight out of 10,” Pascoe said. “And if my group can be an eight of 10 each week, we’ll be pretty hard to stop between here and the end of the year.”
Crowley laid off a pass for Waller to strike truly in the 25th minute, Ridge Mapu crossed for Griffiths to convert from close range in the 48th and Crowley won the ball and rounded goalkeeper Scott Carter to score in the 52nd.
The win was Lambton’s third in a row and kept them unbeaten since round nine.
In welcomed boosts for the defending champions, Nathan Verity returned just two weeks after surgery on a broken jaw and Ryan Griffiths, who had a knee injury, came through his first start in a month unscathed.
Pascoe will have Michael Kantarovski back from suspension next week. Joel Griffiths, Jobe Wheelhouse, Luke Remington and Bren Hammel are still sidelined.
Crowley escaped injury on Saturday despite concerns over his shoulder after a heavy hit from Carter on the sideline which put the former Melbourne City striker into the fence in the 71st minute. Carter was shown a yellow card.
“I wasn’t really happy with that,” Pascoe said. “Their goalkeeper has a history of that behaviour.
“He’s a damn good goalkeeper so I don’t know why he has to do that, but that’s for their club to deal with. But he certainly wouldn’t be at my club.”