The Springfield and Maungakaramea premier men's hockey teams are still searching for a break which will see them secure second place on the competition ladder.
With all premier teams returning after a two-week hiatus, nothing could separate the two men's teams on Saturday at the Northland Hockey Centre as the halftime score of 1-1 persisted until the final whistle.
The two goals could have been the first of many in a game where both teams failed to capitalise on multiple chances at their respective attacking ends. An initial goal from midfielder Jyden Werder saw Springfield take the lead, before the opposition levelled the score ahead of halftime.
The draw has the two teams tied for second, 14 points behind league leaders Mangapai, who recorded a convincing 6-0 win over Bream Bay on Saturday.
With two rounds left before three weeks of finals hockey, Springfield coach Grant McLeod said the recent two-week break had caused a slip in standards for his team.
"I was probably a bit disjointed given we'd been playing pretty well in our last couple of games," he said.
"I think it just takes a bit of time to get back, you can train as much as you like but matches are the best test of where we are at."
McLeod felt a draw was a fair reflection of the game against Maungakaramea as both sides battled hard in a tense second half.
The premier hockey finals format will see the fourth- and fifth-placed teams play off to see who will face Mangapai in the first/fourth semifinal. The second- and third-placed teams will play to decide the other finalist.
With a game against Whangārei Boys' High School this week
"A the end of the day, our destiny is in our hands and if we play well we'll be okay, but whatever happens we'll be in the mix and it comes down to if we front up on the day."
In the premier women's competition, Maungakaramea trumped Hikurangi 4-1 on Friday night, while Old Girls drew 1-1 with Springfield on Saturday.