They have had varied levels of success against Coffs Harbour opposition in the opening two seasons of the Coastal Premier League.
But Port United coach Nathan Wade and Port Saints counterpart John Goodman don't believe there is any significant gulf between eight of the 10 teams in the competition.
United currently occupy the fourth rung of the ladder while Saints are in seventh and out of contention for the semi-finals.
A quick glance at both teams' records against clubs in the northern part of the competition makes for some interesting reading.
Wade's men have pushed runaway competition leaders Coffs City United to one-goal defeats in two of three matches they have played since the competition's inception in 2020.
United have also claimed two one-goal losses and a draw against Boambee while they claimed a win, a loss and a draw against Coffs Coast Tigers.
They have also registered two wins from two starts against Northern Storm along with two wins and one loss against cellar-dwellers Sawtell.
In short, the gap isn't that big.
"With the way the ladder presents itself, if we happen to finish second you can say there's no gulf, but if we finish sixth there is," Wade said.
"Port Saints and Macleay Valley haven't had their strongest sides this year, but last year they matched it with the Coffs sides."
Saints coach John Goodman also doesn't see any gulf between the Coffs Harbour sides and the two from Port Macquarie. Doubts remain about Kempsey Saints and Macleay Valley while Taree Wildcats struggled.
But he admitted the talent pool was deeper with the northern clubs.
"They have four major teams that come from Coffs Harbour, but we've only got two in Port Macquarie," he said.
"On our day we can match any team, but I don't think our depth can match them. That's where we lose out. The depth of their last player is better than the depth of our last player."
More of a focus on junior development is a key factor in creating the strong clubs in Coffs Harbour.
"I think in general (Port Saints and Port United) are okay, but I don't think all five teams down here are okay," Goodman said.
"Next year when Southern United come in they will be strong, but it comes down to (Coffs Harbour's) junior development system with their coaching and their kids and it is better than ours here."
Saints took three points of Coffs City United last season while they have taken points off all-but one Coffs Harbour side this year despite their lowly ladder position.
"We took four points off Coffs Coast, all of them off Sawtell, four off Northern Storm and Coffs United convincingly beat us," Goodman said.
"Against Boambee we lost 3-2 twice and it could have gone either way so you could say we've fared really well against the Coffs' sides.
"We've just stuffed up against clubs in our own zone."
Both Goodman and Wade agreed, however, that Coffs City United were far and away better than every other side in the competition.
"I do believe Coffs United are a step above everyone else and every coach would say that," Wade said.
"That probably comes down to their junior coaching being more advanced than our area. It filters through in the end, but our area is catching up."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: