Ezi Finance Wanganui Braves lost 1-0 in a nailbiter, missing opportunities to take the game in the latter stages against Dodgers in the Manawatu Senior Men Premier grade softball match-up at the weekend.

The game was easily Braves for the taking, with at least an equalizer gone begging in the fifth and another opportunity of taking the lead in the sixth innings.

Pitcher Brad Worsley made base on a hit to the outfield in the bottom of the 5th. Worsley advanced to third on a pass ball. A fly ball to the outfield created an opportunity for Worsley to steal home after the catch, but hesitated and the opportunity was gone.

In the sixth, with runners in scoring positions on second and third, once again Braves could not convert and the runners were left stranded on base.

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"The game was there for the taking but the boy's are letting themselves down in the batter's box. We must start moving the ball on the ground to create pressure," player/coach Shane Foster said.

However, Braves have still qualified second in the Premier Men's finals competition, where they play against No.1 qualifier Huia Chiefs on Saturday.

Braves will be without No.1 pitcher Worsley this Saturday He has been picked up by North Harbour team Northcote, for the NZ club championships starting in North Harbour this week, which leaves the pitching duties to Foster.

The winner will go straight through to the finals on March 30.

The loser will play the winner of this Saturday's third vs fourth game playoff, the following Saturday, March 23 for the right to play in the final.