The Western Province Softball Federation's reluctance to keep their best for last again threatens to impact on the Super League competition.
This unfolded when softball's two most successful clubs, Westridge Yankees and Falcons-SAP, met in the knockout semi-final match at Turfhall Park Stadium in Crawford on Sunday.
Yankees won 5-2 in an excellent tactical battle, which had all the hallmarks of a finale.
With due to respect to the other finalists, Glenthorn, the WPSF's persistence in holding an open draw for the KO series has of late not produced competitive and crowd-pulling finals.
Defending champions Yankees beat Glenthorn in last year's final, after Yankees eliminated Falcons in the semi-final round.
What worked better during the 1990s was the move to seed top clubs like Yankees and Falcons in seperate streams to ensure that they stood a better chance of being finalists.
But back to the KO semi-final, which was watched by the biggest spectator turnout of the season on Sunday.
Yankees surged into a 4-0 lead in the third innings, thanks to the powerful batting of Cindy Jeftha (2-2), Lynn Alexander (2-3), Shameez Parker and Almarie Kannemeyer (both 1-2). Jeftha's hits accounted for two RBIs.
Falcons' pitcher Nikki Jones fanned three batters and conceded eight hits and two walks.
Kannemeyer, who allowed seven hits and two walks, received excellent support from her fielders when Falcons on two occasions threatened to hit back by loading the bases.
Catcher Jeftha lunged to pouch a difficult catch to put out big-hitting Jones, with Falcons hopeful that she would bat in at least two of the three runners on bases on two down.
In the next inning, short-stop Glynis Koopman gloved a fine back-to-the-diamond catch before outfielder Parker's spot-on peg from about 100 metres out stopped Falcons from scoring once again.
Petina Phillips (2-2), Lindsay Verkuiel and Jo-Anne Philander (both 1-2) were Falcons' best batters.
Falcons' defensive play was marked by outfielder Verkuiel grasping a difficult catch in a swirling south-easter and the double play shared by Petina Phillips and her sister Celeste Marks.
But, in the end, it was Yankees' revengeful mood following a 2-1 defeat to Falcons in a league encounter on Saturday that carried them to the final. Falcons are now two points adrift of leaders Yankees in the league contest that is poised to go down to the wire when the top clubs meet in the final league match on Saturday, 3 March.
In the other semi-final, Glenthorn beat Old Mutual Cubs 5-2, after being 2-0 down in the first inning.
Glenthorn surprised by starting with teen pitcher Lauren Mulder (15), who allowed two hits in two innings'. Her replacement Codlyn Korasie also allowed two hits.
Cubs' Lindi Erasmus allowed two hits, but her three wild pitches that allowed Glenthorn to score three unearned runs turned out costly.
Other League results: Ridgeville 5, Battswood 2; Old Mutual Cubs 7, Glenthorn 0 (default); Tantasport 5, Strandfontein Mets 4.