Left to rue several gilt edged chances in front of goal, the Wānaka AFC Seniors finished their Division 1 campaign with a 4-2 loss to newly crowned COFL champions Lakes United at the Queenstown Events Centre.
Utilising a frigid southerly wind at their backs the Seniors had the hosts on the back foot in the opening 20 minutes with Valentine Ruiz opening the scoring. The Uruguayan left midfield applying a deft touch to an in swinging Nico Funes corner that left the Lakes goalkeeper clutching at air.
The home side, relying mainly on counter attacks, then struck twice through their lone striker to take a 2-1 advantage into the break. At the resumption Lakes again showed their class up front with two more goals in similar fashion.
With nothing to lose the Wānaka side pushed more men forward and were rewarded on the hour mark, Hugo Allen scoring from a Mike Finlay cutback to reduce the margin to two goals.
Moments later, Wānaka could have added to their tally. First as Finlay found himself with the keeper to beat, only to drag his shot across the goal mouth. Then as, Brazilian striker, Everton narrowly missed with an exquisite flick from close range.
The Lakes United defense held firm however, to complete a fine season as they claimed their first COFL title.
The two sides will now have two weeks to plan for their re-match in the Central Otago Cup semi final at the Wānaka Rec Centre on Saturday June 22.