A well-played Dean Child century ruined Kaipara Flats' aspirations of winning this year's Northland Cricket two-day trophy.
With Onerahi-Central confirming their place in the final with a win by an innings and 51 runs over Kamo, the race to be their opponent was between Zest Insurance Whangarei Boys' High School and Kaipara.
The High School side did their part, accounting for City by an innings and 12 runs, but the last place in the final hinged on the only game to go the distance on Saturday, between Kaipara and Maungakaramea at the Maungakaramea Domain.
Kaipara had already claimed first innings points on the first day of the match last week but needed an outright win to head off WBHS for second place.
With a handy first innings buffer, Kaipara didn't waste time and were dismissed for 134 with Jas Standen top-scoring with 38, setting Maungakaramea 220 to win on the dry and difficult batting pitch.
The visitors were confident but Child's unlikely and unbeaten ton batting at No 5 gave Maungakaramea a shot at winning with valuable contributions by Bert Horner (27), Mark Child and Ryan Chestnut.
As the wickets continued to fall at the other end, the chase ran out of steam and it was finally left to No 9 Mike Harris, to join Child in frustrating Kaipara's effort to reach the final, with stumps finally drawn with Maungakaramea on 202/7.
The drawn match meant Kaipara were left stranded on level points with Whangarei Boys but WBHS progress through to next weekend's final after beating Kaipara in their round robin fixture.
The result made it a day to remember for WBHS's Sam Clotworthy, who also scored a century after resuming on 87 not out against City.
It seemed he would be denied a century when the eighth and ninth wickets fell with the addition of only two runs. However, No 9 Fletcher Coutts proved to be an ideal partner, scoring a brisk 18 not out, allowing Clotworthy to reach 102, before being dismissed with the score on 241.
City paceman Kieran Nelson took 4/56, and veteran left-arm spinner, Karl Treiber 3/36, to be the pick of the bowlers.
City needed to make 154 to make the students bat again but only opener Sam Cloutman (31), Jamie Morgan (31) and last man out Jake Serotsky (37) provided any real resistance to the school's bowlers. Left-arm spinner David Armitt claimed 3/27 while the other wickets fell to the medium-pacers: Nick Stobart 3/41, Max Trimble 2/29, and John Child 2/35.
Boys High School play Onerahi-Central next weekend's two day final at Cobham Oval. Onerahi-Central will go into the match as overwhelming favourites , after they comprehensively outplayed WBHS in the round robin game.