Tauranga Boys' College First XI made the biggest impression of an abbreviated round in the Loaded Waibop Football Premier division over the weekend.
While some clubs were involved in Chatham Cup first round matches, the students took the initiative to make a move up the table with a season-high 4-0 win over Otumoetai FC in a local derby match of interest.
With Papamoa 3-1 winners over Waiuku in the Chatham Cup, Tauranga Boys' moved to third behind Papamoa on goal difference in what coach Alex Bryant says is the best start to a season at this level.
"I am very happy. I don't think we have started as well as we have done for a very long time. We have played five, for three wins, a draw and a loss, so it bodes well for the rest of the season," he said.
"Probably the depth of football at the school is at its all-time high, in particular the First XI this year. We have got a high number of Year 13s who have played in this league for a couple of years which makes a difference to have an experienced team.
"Often that is not the case with the First XI when you often have half a dozen who have been in the team for a couple of years and half a dozen who are new."
The 4-0 win was pleasing on a several fronts for the Tauranga Boys' players and coaching team.
"Keeping a clean sheet is of particular note, something we haven't been able to do in previous years against the men all that much, so keeping the clean sheet is always good," Bryant said.
"Probably the number of chances that we created as well was good. Scoring four is fantastic but we created a number of other chances as well so happy coach, happy boys."
Hero of the 4-0 win was Adam Davidson who scored a hat trick to cherish, with Stanley Rust knocking in the fourth.
"One was from the penalty spot, one was from close range and the third was a very good goal, a very elegant goal. He lifted the ball over the defender and placed the ball with the outside of his left foot into the bottom corner against the on-rushing goalkeeper. It was a very good goal that third one," Bryant said.
Tauranga Boys' success so far has been due largely to their goal threat. They are the leading scorers in the league with 18 goals in five games. Otumoetai, picked as one of the early favourites, have scored nine of their 11 goals in one game and barely registered in their other five.
Meanwhile, Barrett Homes Tauranga Blue Rovers started brightly against Hamilton Wanderers jumping out to a comfortable 3-0 lead after two goals to Akshag Jaswal and another to Tommy Crane.
But rock-bottom Wanderers fought back well with Jayden Gozdz scoring twice and Maxwell Ericksen once to even the match at 3-3. With the home side hopeful of picking up their first point of the season, Tauranga substitute Mike Barton headed home the winner from a Jared Bailey cross for a 4-3 victory and a move to mid-table place on seven points.