Interviews for previews and reviews of Maitland first grade cricket matches are littered even more this season with phrases such as tough wins, no easy games, no room for complacency.
When even straight shooting Northern Suburbs skipper Lincoln Mills uses them you know they are not just the latest buzz words, but the basis of an underlying truth.
"The interesting part of the competition for me, from what I've seen, is that there are no real easy wins," Mills said reflecting on his side's start to the season which sees them second equal on 33 points with Thornton and four points behind top side City United.
"We've only dropped the game against Thornton last week, which was a great game which went down to the last ball, but there's been no floggings.
"City obviously had a day out against Kurri Weston when they managed to get the outright, but that was such an anomaly. I didn't see that happening to Kurri.
"You look at the games, every teams has a win, Easts who were last are scoring 200 regularly. The top four can't rest on their laurels in any game.
"You've got to turn up every week, there are no easy wins."
There is an 11-point break from Norths and Thornton to fourth placed Kurri Weston on 22 points. Last year's minor premiers Wests are fifth on 18, Easts and Raymond Terrace sixth and seventh on 17 and Tenambit Morpeth on the bottom with 13.
Morpeth provided Norths with another tough game on Saturday. Norths bowlers dismissed the Bulls for 162 and were not helped by a couple of spilled catches.
"It was a good bowling effort by the guys," Mills said.
"We got it six down
"We got off to a really good start with myself and Mike Wilson and then as the wicket wore on Shane Wind bowled really well and he got 3-13 off 10 overs and made it really hard for the boys to get him away.
"There were a few moments there where we were a chance to collapse but the guys fought hard and we got the win.
"Ben Clouton brought home the win with 17 not out at the end. He hit a six and a couple of fours to put the stamp on it.
"The bowling and batting has been good, we've got work to do on our fielding, but it would be more of a worry if every week we were just limping over the line and playing our best.
"It's a funny one with the fielding, there's just been a bit of the yips getting around. It's one of those ones where you just practice more. We just take plenty of catches during the week and work on our ground fielding."
One of the real positives of the season to date has been the form of Mike Wilson since his move to the top of the order to open the batting with Mills.
"Opening the batting has given him a new lease on his cricket. He is balanced, he looks composed at the crease, he is going well,' Mills said.
"It's only taken us 10 years of playing together but we've figured out where he is best suited batting for the team.
"Mike and I both like to score reasonably quickly, so when we can both knuckle down we've been able to get us off to good starts.
There's only been two games when one of use have got our early, we've got to at least that 50 mark. As an opening pair if you can get yourselves through the opening bowlers and get a 50 partnership each week you would take that.
"If you can get your team off to a good start it just sets up the whole innings.
"It's been quite enjoyable the partnership with him at the top of the order. It's just good fun really. Again it's just great to see him enjoying his cricket and hitting the ball well."
The tough game tag certainly applies to Norths' two-day round-eight clash against Western Suburbs this weekend.
"We've got a few out which is going to be tough to juggle but I think all teams are going to be dealing with player availability with the last weekend before Christmas," Mills said.
"We will be really pushing to knock over Wests and go into the break with a really good first half of the year."