Melton Hockey Club First XI had to settle for a sixth-placed finish in East Midlands Division One after a narrow final day defeat at Derwent.
The position was harsh on Melton who had been in a three-way fight for the second promotion place until their penultimate game against Ashby who won that on their ay to grabbing second spot.
While Melton knew there was nothing riding on their final game, Derwent still had a chance of promotion and were expected to push hard for a win.
As it happened, Derwent did dominate the match, but Melton made a game of it.
Organised and attritional defending kept the scores level early on, as an eager Derwent pushed the Reds back.
Counter-attacks were few and far between, with not much going Melton’s way, and it was perhaps inevitable that something had to give.
A goalmouth scramble from a penalty corner eventually led to a shot being stopped illegally on the line by Brown.
From the resulting penalty stroke Derwent went ahead.
After that, the hosts struggled to create more opportunities in the first half, and Melton could have equalised when a cleverly-worked penalty corner gave Hewitt a chance, but the ball drifted agonisingly wide.
The second half continued in the same vein, and as Melton strived for the equaliser, more chances fell to Derwent.
But Eden was in inspired form, making several good saves.
Once more chances fell to Melton too, as the ball again drifted just past the post, while the home keeper also made a smart save to deny Guy’s volley.
Melton ultimately came up short, in what has been an up-and-down season.
They have been beaten just six times and have plenty to build on for next year if they can turn more of their draws into victories.