MELVILLE City fell 4-3 to Wesley and South Perth in a seesawing qualifying final at Perth Hockey Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Playing in just its second top-flight final series in 60 years, Melville got off to the perfect start through a Justin McDougal goal in the first three minutes.
Despite falling behind early, WASPS settled into the game quicker and the rest of the first half was one-way traffic with Melville struggling to pierce through the midfield.
Consecutive penalty corners to Duncan Pearce and Chris Ciriello put WASPS in front and it could easily have enjoyed a two-goal buffer at the break but for a missed penalty stroke from Jayme Walsh.
Melville regrouped during the half-time break and shot out of the blocks, applying consistent pressure to the WASPS defence to earn two penalty corners of its own which were both converted by Matt Willis.
Unfortunately, City could not sustain its dominance and when WASPS managed to regain control of the midfield midway through the term it was only a matter of time before it equalised and then nudged back in front, again through penalty corners.
With time expiring McDougal came close to squaring the ledger with skilful tomahawk shot but it was well saved by WASPS’ Chris Munro.
City finished the season in third-place to secure a finals double chance and now faces a semi-final against Old Aquinians on Wednesday night.