A world-class flick-on header in a four-goal haul earned Tara Andrews praise from both coaches as New Lambton seized the outright lead in Herald Women's Premier League with a 9-2 win over Adamstown on Sunday.
The win took the Eagles to nine points and three clear of South Wallsend, whose third-round game against Wallsend was postponed due to ground issues.
The clash between Warners Bay and Thornton, set down for John Street Oval on Sunday, did not go ahead either after it was called off due to extreme heat.
In Taree, goalkeeper Alison Logue played a starring on-field role as a "depleted" Merewether took their first points of the season in a 5-1 win over Mid North Coast.
Logue, also a handy field player, was used as striker with several regular starting players out through injury and unavailability and produced a match brace.
But the talk of the weekend was the dominant performance of the Andrews-led Eagles at Adamstown Oval, which also included a hat-trick from emerging talent Emmeline Pepper.
Pepper started the onslaught with the game only five minutes old when she scored a back-post tap-in.
But the hosts were quick to equalise when Chelsea Lucas made a strong run down the right wing in the 10th minute and scored with an impressive, long-range effort which sailed over Imogene Tomasone's head.
That was to be the only time the New Lambton shot-stopper was troubled in the first half.
Andrews scored all four of her goals, including the impressive header over Adamstown shot-stopper Olivia Sneddon, in a devastating 16-minute period before Lauren Allan, in her first appearance against her former club, and Sophie Jones scored to give the Eagles a 7-1 lead at the break.
Pepper added goals in the 58th and 63rd minutes as Allan, Andrews and Jones continued to launch penetrating raids deep into Rosebud territory and produce some devastating combination play.
Adamstown substitute Belle Hewitt scored a consolation goal midway through the second half.
The most pleasing aspect of the match for New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton was "some beautiful football".
"A couple of team goals were fantastic," Hamilton said. "I think the fourth goal in particular was a fantastic team goal that involved about five players then a great little cutback by Lauren, very unselfishly to Tara to tap in.
"So, a couple of the team goals were great because there was some good build-up football. A couple of the individual goals were pleasing too - Sophie's left-foot half-volley was great and Tara's header fantastic.
"And Emmeline Pepper getting her first ever first-grade hat-trick was a good moment for her."
Adamstown coach Paul Devitis was disappointed with the result but not panicked and had nothing but praise for Andrews' first-class performance.
"She's not the difference because they're a good team," Devitis said. "But when it comes to winning games in the competition, you've got to score goals, and she is the biggest difference. For me she's the best player in the comp and in form."
He rued periods of the game where Adamstown are "gifting people goals" but said there was plenty to take out of an improved second-half performance.
Rhali Dobson, Nicki Jones and Tamara Nash also got on the scoresheet in Taree as Merewether took a 5-0 lead into half-time. Jenna Doyle was the lone scorer for Mid North Coast with her goal coming in the second half.
United back up to host Thornton in a rescheduled game on Wednesday night and Warners Bay will be at home to Wallsend.
Round three results:
New Lambton 9 (Tara Andrews 4, Emmeline Pepper 3, Lauren Allan, Sophie Jones) defeated Mid North Coast 2 (Chelsea Lucas, Belle Hewitt) at Adamstown Oval.
Merewether 5 (Alison Logue 2, Rhali Dobson, Nicki Jones, Tamara Nash) defeated Mid North Coast 1 (Jenna Doyle) in Taree.
Points: New Lambton 9, South Wallsend 6, Warners Bay 3, Wallsend 3, Merewether 3, Thornton, Mid North Coast, Adamstown.