Adelaide Comets sent a massive statement to the rest of the competition on the weekend by dismantling finals rival MetroStars 4-1 at SA Athletics Stadium, headlined by a hat-trick from skipper Allan Welsh.
The home side sat three points clear of their opponents at the top of the table coming into the match after snatching top spot from MetroStars two weeks ago.
It was Comets who broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when a reflex save from Julian Torresan led to a rapid counter-attack out of defence, culminating in a beautiful finish by Anthony Mavrolambados.
Welsh doubled his side’s advantage early in the second half, sending the keeper the wrong way and scoring from the spot after Mavrolambados was brought down in the area.
MetroStars halved the deficit on 54 minutes when star striker Nahuel Bonada won, and duly converted, a penalty for his sixth goal of the season from just four games.
The comeback stayed on the cards for only three minutes as a second for Welsh dealt a hammer blow to the visitors’ hopes of salvaging a result.
The captain’s third, another poacher’s effort in the box, was the icing on the cake as Comets widened their buffer over their opponents to six points.
Campbelltown City failed to make MetroStars pay for their loss as they were shocked at home by Adelaide Olympic 2-1, while Raiders also stumbled to a 2-2 home draw against the struggling Modbury Jets.
Adelaide Blue Eagles’ resurgence continued with a 2-0 win over Croydon Kings, while Adelaide City and Cumberland United both recorded impressive away victories over Para Hills Knights and Adelaide United respectively.