Norths won a torrid encounter with fierce rivals Maitland 2-1 at Broadmeadow on Sunday to return to the top of the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League ladder.
WIth Gosford having the bye, it was a prime opportunity for the Blues to take the outright lead.
Souths defeat of University meant that a loss would see the Rams drop out of the top four for the first time since round six.
No love is lost between the two sides and the match threatened to boil over when Norths defender Brad Binns and Rams midfielder Matt Maggan came together early in the match. Both players receiving yellow cards for the altercation.
Play settled and it was Norths first on the board when Nathan Hochman converted a well worked penalty corner in the 30th minute to give the Blues the lead at half time.
Maitland responded when Maggan converted a penalty corner half way through the final stanza.
Two minutes later, Norths were awarded a penalty stroke and Binns stepped up to convert past Bradley Patterson and seal the win.
The Blues shift ahead of Gosford in what promises to be a minor premiership race that will go down to the wire.
In the other matches in Newcastle, Cameron Thornton scored half of South’s goals in an 8-0 win over University.
Andrew Nash, Tom Duck, Rhys Henwood and Mitch Bisson also scored.
Wests put The Entrance to the sword 8-0. Chris Boyle scored four, Sam Mudford struck twice and Jacob Searle and Ben Jurd also netted.
Wests move to second and The Entrance stay in sixth.
Meanwhile, Australia have completed a week of domination by thumping New Zealand 4-1 in the final of a women's hockey tri-series tournament.
In freezing conditions in the New Zealand city of Cromwell, the Hockeyroos completed an emphatic rebound from their Commonwealth Games disappointment in April, when they lost the gold medal match to the Kiwis on the Gold Coast.
Twin hammerings of New Zealand in the round-robin phase - by scorelines of 4-1 and 3-0 - was followed by another compelling display in the decider.
Paul Gaudoin's team marked captain Emily Smith's 200th international with another compelling performance at both ends of the pitch which will be an important springboard into the World Cup in London, starting in July.
Smith provided drive in the middle of the turf while Stephanie Kershaw, Kristina Bates and young attacker Rosie Malone were standout performers on attack.
Jodie Kenny scored the lone goal of the first quarter from a penalty stroke before New Zealand responded via a diving Sam Harrison from a penalty corner.
Malone put the visitors back in front on the stroke of halftime through a fierce reverse stick shot.
Brooke Peris set up the third goal to Emily Hurtz and scored the fourth herself to virtually guarantee victory with a quarter still to play.
Smith was inspired before the game when presented with a video of her career by team-mates.
It served as another motivation to perform.
"Obviously after the Comm Games we were disappointed that we couldn't perform in a pressure game," she said.
"We were using this as a chance to improve and practice playing in finals, and work out how to win in a pressure situation."
Both tri-series opponents - New Zealand and Japan - are in Australia's World Cup pool, along with Belgium.
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