A hat-trick by skipper Reed Hugo laid the ground work for Cessnock's 32-10 win against Lakes United on Sunday.
However, the young Goannas, who led 28-0 at half-time, will need to maintain 80 minutes of pressure if they are to get the points against Phil Williams' Central Newcastle at Cessnock Sportsground on Saturday.
Cessnock coach Todd Edwards said the second half fade was disappointing but it was part of the learning process for his young team going forward.
"I was happy overall but there are parts of that second half we can improve on," Edwards said.
"We were clinical, very good and scored five tries in the first half.
"The second half we went out soft, lost momentum and couldn't get it back.
"We did it the hard way after leading 28-0 at half-time.
"Defensively we went to sleep a little bit, we lost our way. Half-time was the worst thing that could happen to us. We lost all our momentum."
While Hugo led the way with his hat-trick, the Goannas had plenty of fine performers including prop Guy Thompson and winger Jordan Schofield who both battled through injuries to be in Cessnock's best.
"Guy Thompson was good through the middle - he played under an injury. Jordan Schofield on the wing was very good. He received my coach's award," Edwards said.
Harvey Neville was the latest youngster to showcase his talents in higher ranks.
"Harvey's a young kid who has come through the 19s. He is an exceptional talent and I had to move him to the centres as our right centre pulled out on the morning. He was enormous for us," Edwards said.
At the other end of the experience scale, Liam Foran was again the general on field directing the young Goannas.
"Liam was very good, his first half was exceptional, his game management is just first class," Edwards said.
"I'd love to have him back here in 2021, but he is contracted to Greta Branxton next year as captain-coach and it's his and their call."
The Goannas' other star playmaker Tyler Randall did not play due to work which may sideline him for the rest of the year.
Edwards is delighted with the progress of the Goannas and looking forward to a testing run of games to come starting with third placed Central Newcastle followed by league leaders Wyong.
"Six or eight weeks ago we had six or eight at training and were considering not having a team, or maybe just one team in tier two like Kurri," he said.
"The kids have turned up and it has been a progression. Our top 20 is very strong now.
"The group has come together really well, there's a good feel. The kids want to get better, they want success and we've been able to bring players like Liam Foran, Josh Griffiths and Ngangarra Barker to bolster the experience.
"Things are looking all right but we've got two tough weeks coming up. We've got Central leading into Wyong. We'll know a bit about ourselves after the next two weeks.
"Central were beaten on Sunday by Wyong, but I know Phil was missing quite a few players and they will be a different proposition back here on a Saturday.
"They've lost two in a row now and they will be pretty fired up."
In reserve grade Lakes beat the Goannas 40-6. Cessnock's Blues Tag team had the bye.
The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs failed to get the points against South Newcastle in all three grades. In Blues Tag the Bulldogs were beaten 36-6, the under-19s lost 18-12 and in reserve grade Souths prevailed 14-4.
Craig Richardson and Jordy Mitchell shared the players' player award in tier two. It was Richardson's third and Mitchell's second award voted on by their teammates.
The under-19s were best served by Jackson Lillyman, Jack Sylvester., who backed up for the top grade, and Alex Sellis