THE Bega Devils first grade outdid the Tathra Sea Eagles on Sunday to take the outright lead before the league takes a holiday break.
The Devils capped off a dominant early season showing with a 4-0 win over Tathra, who had also been undefeated.
The Devils are now the only undefeated side in the competition and hold the top spot in the first grade division.
Club members described the clash with Tathra as “one of the most important fixtures of the season”.
“The only other time we met resulted in a dramatic 3-3 draw,” Devils winger Ross Jones said.
Tathra has a host of talented players and was shaping up as “the only team capable of matching Bega’s passing and scoring ability”.
However, it was Bega posting the first points, when the Tathra defence faltered for Devils striker Jordan Stafford to fumble the ball into the net.
Inspired by the goal, the Devils rose to a new level of intensity.
About 10 minutes after the opening goal, Bega was creating more opportunities on the goal.
However, it was a surprise long-range shot by defender Simon Jones that soared from almost halfway over the keeper’s grasp to double Bega’s lead.
The Devils again lifted and looked to deny Tathra hopes of a comeback before the second half.
A precise pass from Alec Caragher sailed straight to Jones, who hit the accelerator and sped past his opponent.
Drawing in the defenders and goalie, Jones crossed to Stafford who landed the ball in the empty net.
The Devils looked sure of themselves at half-time leading 3-0.
Jones said rather than settle into a defensive stance and hold their lead, the Devils set about another attacking raid when play resumed.
“Dillon Douch popped up to score his first goal of the season with an unstoppable shot from well outside the box,” Jones said.
The Devils tired from their relentless attack were unable to capitalise on any opportunities, while Tathra consolidated its defence.
It was a good day for the Devils overall with the reserves scoring a 3-0 win over Merimbula Grasshoppers, while the ladies had a hard-fought 3-2 win.
Meanwhile, the Far South Coast Football Association competition will be put on hold for two weeks over the school holidays.
Devils president Chris Dwyer said the break will be held “for a number of reasons”.
“We do like to have a bye just in case people are away,” Dwyer said.
“But, the under 12s, 14s and 16s are splitting in to two divisions.
“The top teams will go to the A grade, while the lower teams will join the B grade, the break allows the association time to sort out the draw,” he said.
The same initiative has been used previously in the competition’s first grade.