BACK-TO-BACK defeats for Salisbury Hockey Club Men’s firsts have put a hammer blow in their hopes for promotion.

After losing away at Havant, the Lower Bemerton outfit were beaten 7-5 by champions Gillingham in a see-saw affair in Hampshire Division 1.

Subsequently, they’ve been overtaken by Southampton University in second place, who will reach the play-offs if they win one of their last two games.

Salisbury must win at City of Portsmouth on Saturday in their final fixture to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

Skipper Andy Renshaw said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the loss but our performance level was better this week, some basic errors gave them four or five goals but for everyone watching they probably won’t have seen a better game this season.”

“It looks like we’ll miss out on the play-off spot as well as automatic promotion now, but we’ve maintained a strong youth policy this season which will make us stronger for next year.”

After falling behind early on, Martin Clarke hit a quickfire double.

Gillingham came back to lead 4-2 at the break.

Rory MacTaggart then scored twice, sandwiched between a goal for the visitors.

But then two further goals from Gillingham saw them lead 7-4.

MacTaggart won a penalty late on which he duly dispatched - ending the 12-goal feast.