Just about everyone, it seems, thought the women's soccer league was finishing yesterday except for Central Football.
"It's a bit of a shame because I think it'll be a disappointing end to the season," Maycenvale Misfits coach Craig Barkle said last night after his side drew 1-1 with league leaders Baldwin Jewellers Taradale at Akina Park, Hastings.
Misfits striker Aleesha Heywood threw down the gauntlet in the 21st minute but Dale veteran Gail Hall didn't find the equaliser until two minutes to go on the watch, much to the relief of coach Dave Dickenson, standing in for Graeme Jones who is at the London Olympics as a walk race coach.
It was a must-win yesterday for Dale, who maintain a three-point lead over Misfits, after Central Football extended the season to the top-four play-offs rounds.
"Everyone likes to win but we'll take the draw," Dickenson said.
Barkle said Misfits dominated in the first 30 minutes but the rest of the game was even and the game could have gone either way.
They play Dale one more time, on the foundation of a healthier goal difference, to keep their chances alive with third-placed PlusRehab Port Hill United, just three points behind Misfits, and Advanced Construction Eskview United, a distant fourth place on 14 points, are in the mix.
The word is fifth-placed Western Rangers have called it a season.
Barkle felt the younger players would have gone on to their representative and school competitions if the season had ended, considering the Central Football website had indicated the competition was finishing yesterday.
The Misfits, Dale, Western Rangers and Maycenvale Crusaders (div 2) are in the AppMed HB Knockout Cup semifinals.
The Chase Arquette-coached Havelock North Youth side lead division two and were unbeaten on 35 points before yesterday's round with Hastings Rovers second on 29 points.