Mataura were forced to work hard to keep their unbeaten season intact when they took on Riversdale in the weekend's round of Southland women's premier grade hockey.
Riversdale showed they can match it with competition front runners Mataura, when holding them to a 1-1 draw at Gore on Saturday.
Mataura's Latoya Grant and Riversdale's Theresa Dickson notched first half goals to set up a tied game going into the halftime break.
That deadlock was not broken in the second half despite both teams going on sustained periods of attack.
Late in the second half both sides had attacking opportunities that could have sealed a win but saves from goalies at each end denied those chances.
Riversdale coach Gaye Shirley was pleased with her team's effort, especially on defence.
"We're more than happy leading into the business end of the [competition]," Shirley said.
Mataura coach Craig Sinclair also credited Riverdale's strong play.
"Riversdale's a good team. They've been playing really well; they really took it to us,"
Though happy his team escaped without a loss, Sinclair admitted his side "didn't have their best game".
"We've got a few things we need to work on at training," he said.
Gore also hosted the round's other game of top grade women's hockey on Saturday when Hokonui took on Southern.
Hokonui took control of the game early, holding a 2-1 lead at halftime.
The teams added a goal each in the second half, with Hokonui emerging 3-2 victors.
Hokonui will take on Mataura, while Southern play Riversdale, in the penultimate round of regular season competition next weekend.
- The Southland Times