A hat-trick from Rory Walker lifted Norths to a damaging 7-4 win over rivals Souths in round 17 of the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League on Sunday.
Norths (27 points) stayed a point behind leaders Gosford, while Souths (13) dropped further behind fourth-placed Maitland (16).
Dane Pettitt bagged a brace for Norths, while Shaun Frazer and Matt Wark also scored. Seb Rollings had a treble for Souths. Norths led 4-0, 4-2 and 6-2.
"We scored in the second minute and were up 2-0 after the first quarter, so we were in control before a couple of defensive errors, but it was still a good win," Norths coach Dave Willott said.
Also at Broadmeadow, Gosford beat Wests 4-3 thanks to a double from Rhiley Carr. Wests (18 points), levelled 2-2 but Gosford kicked clear with two goals before the hosts scored on the siren. Kael Webster and Hugh Wickert also scored for Gosford, while Hayden Dillon, Sam Mudford and Harper Galvin got Wests' goals.
At Maitland, the Rams beat Uni 7-0 with hat-tricks from Pat Magann and Ryan Lange.
In the Newcastle women's premier league on Saturday, Tigers and Regals had a goalless draw, as did Erina-Avoca Beach and Oxfords, while Gosford defeated The Entrance 3-0.