Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League: Norths reach ninth straight grand final after accounting for rivals Souths | photos

Norths have qualified for their ninth straight Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League decider after accounting for arch rivals Souths in Sunday’s preliminary final.

After going to the main break at 0-all, the Blues netted three second half goals en route to a 3-1 victory at Newcastle International Hockey Centre.

Dane Pettitt opened the scoring in the 44th minute to give Norths a 1-0 lead before Rory Walker doubled the advantage via a penalty stroke eight minutes later.

Australian Schoolboys representative Ky Willott put the result beyond doubt for the Blues with five minutes remaining on the clock.  

Souths’ Andrew Nash scored a consolation goal in the closing stages.

The Lions have now been beaten in three consecutive preliminary finals. Norths last missed a decider in 2009.

The Blues will be up against defending champions and minor premiers Gosford in Newcastle on Sunday (2:30pm). It is a repeat of the previous three title showdowns.