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Feeling blue . . . Pirata Blue hockey players celebrate their win in the North Otago senior mixed final on Saturday. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

It’s always nice when a final throws up an absolute thriller to bring the curtain down on a season.

That was certainly the case at the Oamaru hockey turf on aturday as Pirata Blue narrowly beat the Waitaki Girls’ High School First XI in the final of the North Otago senior mixed competition.

A rare “golden drop-off” mode was required to determine the winner.

Scores were tied 2-2 after normal time, so an extra period of five minutes was played with teams fielding just nine players, and no goalkeepers.

The deadlock remained, so the game went to a second period of extra time, this time with the teams allowed to field just seven players each, and Deon Bridger scored the winning goal for Pirata Blue.

Bridger had earlier scored from a penalty stroke for Pirata Blue, while son Keenan got the side’s other goal in normal time.

TJ Arlidge had grabbed the first goal for Waitaki Girls’, and Jordon Cunningham scored from a strike six minutes before the final whistle to make it 2-2.

Amber Cunningham, Rata McMullan and Georgie McCarthy scored goals to lead the St Kevin’s College First XI to a 3-0 win over Pirata White in the playoff for third and fourth.

A Bradley Jones hat trick powered Waitaki Boys’ High School to an 8-2 win over Pirata Black in the fifth-sixth playoff, and St Kevin’s Development beat Waitaki Girls’ Development 2-0 in the seventh-eighth game.