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There was consolation waiting for Southern at the end of the National Hockey League.
The Dogs finished in a respectable fifth place after prevailing in a shootout with Central in Tauranga yesterday.
It was a cracking final game. Central made the early running, slapping in goals in the second and fifth minute.
Jordan Ward pulled one back for Southern in the 20th mi-
nute. And in a dramatic final quarter, Nathan Gilbert secured an equaliser in the 49th minute.
But Central responded immediately through Koji Yamasaki.
The game looked lost until striker Kieran O'Connor scored from a penalty corner with six minutes remaining to tie the score 3-3.
Southern iced three of its first four attempts to win the shootout 3-2.
Coach Clive Daniels could not be reached for comment. But his side did well to finish the tournament strongly.
It missed out on a spot in the top four earlier in the week but beat Midlands 2-1 on Saturday to slip into the playoff for fifth and sixth.
The Southern women's team also finished on a high note of sorts. While the Storm extended its losing streak to 33 games, it did score three goals in its last two matches.
It lost 3-2 to Auckland on Saturday and was defeated 3-1 in the playoff for seventh and eighth by Capital.
Storm coach Matt Ling could not be reached for comment.
North Harbour claimed the women's title with a 2-0 win against Northland, while North Harbour won the final 2-1.