With a place in the playoffs still a slim mathematical chance, the match against Illawarra was a must win for Sydney.
Following their pattern and all their matches, Sydney surrendered the lead mid way through the first half, when Chris Stolk scored from a penalty corner.
Illawarra held the lead for much of the match until a brace of goals from Kamal Naqvi in the 37th and 48th minutes gave Sydney their much sort after win.
Requiring two results to go their way, Sydney spirits were buoyed when Newcastle beat Randwick, but the required draw between Parkes and Grafton never eventuated, with Parkes running out clear winners.
With results not going their way, Sydney surrendered the title they won in 2019 and 2020, eventually finishing fifth.