Wanderers knew that victory would give them the title by drawing level on points with Watford - because they beat Watford the previous day. For Worthing, promotion beckoned if they took the points.
In the end, an 8-8 draw pleased only the watching Watford players. Wanderers settled for second place and promotion to Division 2. And, after pushing Wanderers all the way in a gripping match, Worthing ended with nothing. The third promotion spot went to Croydon Amphibians, who finished level on points with Worthing but won by a single goal when the sides met earlier in the season!
Worthing made the better start against Wanderers as Joao Martins fired in three excellent goals to earn a 3-1 lead by the start of the second period. Wanderers gradually recovered and entered the final quarter all square at 6-6.
In an intense period of pressure early in the final quarter, Wanderers twice hammered shots against the posts before Lewis Gilmour netted with a fine cross shot; then Joe Jenkins-Delf scored to give Wanderers a crucial 8-6 advantage.
Worthing rallied again. Nathan Hart's strong breakaway and push shot cut the lead to 8-7; and, as the tension increased, it was Richard Hooper who levelled it at 8-8 with a man-up goal with 2.41 minutes left.
Earlier, Croydon salvaged what proved to be a crucial point in a 14-14 draw with Ealing when Tom Andrews scored with six seconds remaining. Andrius Jankunas was the Ealing star with nine goals. Cambridge beat Southampton 13-11 - their only win in the Championship 2 programme.
Picture (Trevor Hyde): Some of Watford's more optimistic players stayed on to see if the result of the Wanderers-Worthing clash would by any chance work in their favour - and they were rewarded with the Wally Rowse trophy! L-R: Danny Davis, Jared Baker, Steve Behr, Peter Pickford, Cameron Baker, Ciaran Walshe, James Warman.