For all sense and purpose it was a boys' to men affair in the soccer match played in Napier.
The men, Kinetic Electrical Hawke's Bay United prevailed 3-1 against their academy youth side at Park Island on Saturday.
Leading 2-1 at halftime, Jarrod Smith pumped in a hat-trick. The veteran striker has yet to run on to the park in the ASB Premiership this summer.
The Chris Greatholder-coached senior team resume their campaign against Waikato United at Bluewater Stadium this Sunday in the hunt for their first premiership play-off berth since the competition began.
The Dion Adams-coached franchise youth side will begin their season against their Waikato United counterparts in a curtain-raiser match.
Having come through their fitness test and a robust training after the Christmas break, Greatholder said despite the balmy weather they wanted to see how the troops fared for 90 minutes with minimum substitutions.
With 28-year-old Smith's hat-trick, the pressure will be on the incumbent strikers of golden boot contender Sean Lovemore, English import Stephen Hoyle and homeboy who just made his Bay debut Dakota Lucas.
"He [Smith] was brilliant ... It's a good headache.
"I haven't had one this season, Greatholder said, adding someone would be unfortunate not to make the cut on Sunday.
While the senior men could have scored a few more goals, he felt the youth team had kept his troops honest.
"They [Bay United Youth] were good. They hustled, harried and played some decent football."