It's back to the Southern Counties regional qualifiers for Fareham and Trojans next winter as neither local club secured a top three place in the Division 1 South play-offs at Canterbury.
But the pair both drew positives from the two-day Jaffa Super-Sixes tournament, which Olton & West Warwicks won, with Bedford and Bournville finishing second and third.
They both fieled young squads, with Trojans including four Under-17s and Fareham a GCSE age goalkeeper Ajay Raval between the sticks.
Although they beat Horsham 4-1 in their opening match, Fareham had Luke Cornish hospitalised in the opening minute after being injured when hockey stick hit him in the teeth.
"I had to take him to hospital so neither of us was avaiable for the second game against Bedford, which we lost 10-6.
"The injury put Luke out for the entire weekend," explained player-coach Ben Barnes.
Set-piece specialist Jamie Rawlings potted six penalty corners and a stroke for Fareham, who also lost to Olton & West Warwicks (5-2) and Bournville (5-2) before beating Trojans 5-2 in their final match.
"We missed too many chances where we should have scored in all our games to have been closer to qualifying," Barnes added.
"We had a very young side, so it was a good experience for the emerging players.
"17 year old Zac Way scored a fantastic first goal, but otherwise for the 1’s were highlights in an otherwise disappointing weekend."
Trojans told a similar tale - an insufficient number of goals from open play, and wasted corners with poor injections, stick stops etc.
"We forced eight penalty cornerds against Bedford and didn't score one of them," reflected top scorer Ian Bassett, who got five of the Stoneham team's goals.
"We needed a point from final two games and played well against Olton but things didn’t quite fall for us and we lost 6-3. We were then legless in the last game (against Fareham), missed a few chances but conceded 5 through being too open.
"We too had a very young side with three-16 year olds and a 17 year old so it was a good experience for them, especially since 3 of them were key players for us.
"It’s our best finish in recent years so although a little disappointed, hopefully we can build on it next year. The south qualifier will be very tough to get through next year with some capable indoor sides."
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