A PROMOTION-WINNING season is off the cards for Salisbury Hockey firsts after crashing to a 2-1 defeat at home to Chichester thirds.

Things started buoyantly for the Lower Bemerton outfit, though, taking the lead after 20 minutes when Jon Powell deflected home a penalty corner.

With Chichester seeing little of the ball, Salisbury continued to press but could not extend the lead.

And a James Brewin mistake just before half time gifted Chichester a penalty corner which they duly despatched to restore parity.

Salisbury sustained their forward movement after half time but, following a contentious decision from the umpire, conceded again. A counter attack from Chichester ended when Tom Brady made a tackle on the Chichester forward in the D. However, the umpire deemed it a foul and awarded a penalty flick, which Chichester scored.

Salisbury seemed to let the decision get to them, and ceased to play their good flowing hockey.

The remainder of the half fizzled out but Salisbury thought they had mustered a point when Nick Easterbrook went through on goal, but he tantalisingly missed from six yards.

Skipper Andy Renshaw said: "If we had taken our chances in the first half then we could have won the game comfortably, we didn't play well enough in the second half but still created enough to have won the game."

In youth hockey, Chafyn Grove's under-11s came runners up in the IAPS National Hockey Tournament.

They coasted through to the finals where they lost to Altrincham Prep in a penalty shootout.

A school spokesman said: "It was a terrific performance overall and the squad should be very proud of their efforts."