Central Coast scored a three-goal victory to keep them just three points behind the top six. Image supplied.

Central Coast surged to a 4-1 victory over ladder rivals the Regals on Saturday afternoon, breaking open a locked scoreboard at half-time to claim the three-goal win in the final quarter at the Newcastle International Hockey Centre.

Central secured an early advantage away from home, with striker Ashley Tsakissiris netting a goal for the side. The Regals, however, equalised shortly after as forward Sophie Skliros slammed one in the back of the net.

The match remained neck-and-neck as both teams created a number of close opportunities to gain a lead, and it wasn’t until the dying minutes of the final quarter that Central found an advantage in the Round 18 match.

Bianca Cheetham and Kendall Steel both scored in the final quarter, while Ashley Tsakissiris secured her brace to round out the 4-1 scoreline.

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“We were really pleased with the final result, but it didn’t feel like a 4-1 scoreline game,” said Central Coast coach Jenny Baxter.

“They missed a couple of really close opportunities which could have equalised it all on a few occasions. We have struggled to convert in the past, so it felt good to score from our chances and not concede any of their runaways.”

Also at the NIHC, the Oxfords fell short to ladder-leaders Souths in a 3-1 loss, while the Tigers clinched a major 6-1 upset over The Entrance to keep their season hopes alive. Down south, Gosford defeated University 5-0.

TABLE: Souths (43), Erina Avoca Beach (39), Oxfords (38), Tigers, Gosford (35), Regals (32), Central (29), The Entrance (21), University (15).

I'm a 19 year old student at the University of Newcastle, studying a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism. I grew up on the Mid North Coast, where I developed a love for soccer, surfing and writing.