One player was sent off and another three sin-binned following a brawl which marred Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash in the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League.
Defending champions Gosford leapfrogged 2016 premiers Norths on the competition ladder with a 2-0 win at Newcastle International Hockey Centre.
Norths played the second half with 10 men after goalkeeper Shaun O’Brien was given his marching orders on the brink of the main break.
Blues teammate Nick Hill also spent 10 minutes on the sideline for the incident along with Gosford brothers Rhiley and Lain Carr.
Rhiley Carr had earlier put the visitors ahead by two with a penalty stroke in the 14th minute. This followed shortly after Jake Wigham’s opener.
Also in Newcastle on Sunday and Wests moved within one point of the top two courtesy of a 5-1 victory over fourth-placed Souths.
And with two rounds remaining, fifth-placed Maitland kept their finals hopes alive with an 11-1 thumping of The Entrance on the Central Coast on Sunday.
Meanwhile, seven Newcastle players helped NSW win a sixth straight Australian Country Championships title in Berri after defeating Queensland 5-0 in Saturday’s final. NSW lost the women’s decider 1-0 to Queensland.
Elsewhere, Souths’ Seb Rollings was named in the under-16 Australian Schoolboys squad on Saturday following his performances at last week’s national championships on the Gold Coast.
LADDER: Gosford 25; Norths 24; Wests 23; Souths 19; Maitland 17; The Entrance 6; University 0.