The Bendigo Amateur Soccer League championship won’t be decided until the final game of the season.
A 1-1 draw in Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash between Eaglehawk and Shepparton South at Truscott Reserve left South with a slender one-point lead.
The only match to be played is a catch-up round fixture between Spring Gully and Eaglehawk at Stanley Avenue next Sunday.
The Hawks just need to draw against Gully to claim back-to-back championships because they have a superior goal difference to Shepparton South.
Eaglehawk survived some tense moments to deny Shepparton South a title-winning victory on Sunday.
South made a perfect start when Willie Sauliuma opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
The Hawks bounced back just before half-time when Jan Kerr fired home the equaliser from close range after a well-worked long throw-in.
Needing all three points to win the title, Shepparton South pushed hard in the second half.
A sizzling, long-range shot from South star Sean Grant crashed into the cross-bar.
Despite being under pressure, the Borough defence held up stoutly and the Hawks tried to score on the counter-attack.
One of those counter-attacks led to a key moment in the game.
French import Andre Latt sprinted hard on to a loose ball, but was fouled just outside of the 18-yard box by a charging South keeper Nick Marino.
Latt crashed to the turf and Marino was shown a red card.
With one player down, South couldn’t create any meaningful chances in the dying minutes and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Shepparton South will now barrack hard for Spring Gully next Sunday.
The Reds played well on Sunday to force a 2-2 draw against fourth-placed Shepparton United.
Goals from Sam Nanere and Josh Baum cancelled out two early Shepparton United goals.
Epsom secured third place and a home elimination final after it trashed Shepparton 14-0.
Crafty striker Will Vallely scored five goals for the Scorpions, young gun Cooper Arkinstall added a hat-trick and teenager Daniel Bell scored a brace on debut.
Godwill Basha found the back of the net three times as Golden City rounded out an improved season with a 6-2 win over Moama-Echuca. Josh Hutchins added two goals and Zac Gilmour one.
In the final game of the round, Tatura thumped Colts United 7-2.
Shepparton United won its first BASL women’s championship.
United just needed a draw against Spring Gully to pip Epsom for the women’s title, but they had the three points sewn up by half-time.
United eventually won 6-2, with Sophie Papalia scoring a hat-trick. Nicole Ford nailed both goals for Gully.
Eaglehawk’s final game of the season was a winning one. The Hawks defeated finals-bound Shepparton South 2-1 on the back of goals from Charlotte Edlin and Rikki Ross.
Strathdale 14-year-old Ellia Vlaeminck capped one of the most impressive seasons in league history when she scored five goals in the Blues’ 8-0 win over Swan Hill.
Vlaeminck’s five goals took her season tally to a remarkable 39 goals – seven more than any other player in the competition.
Third-placed Moama-Echuca rounded out its home and away campaign with a 1-0 win over Golden City.
The top four teams in each division now prepare for the BASL finals series, which starts on September 24.