Whitchurch Vets needed maximum points to keep their promotion hopes alive at home to the Avenue from Portsmouth, but were not helped by some serious availability issues.

Reliable sub Dave Hicks stepped in at late notice for only his second match of the season and started well winning the first game, however a defeat looked ominous as he weakened to 2-1 down.

The early optimism had completely disintegrated as he found himself match point down in the fourth, but he remarkably saved threevmatch points, finally winning 10-9.

The decider was close but Hicks's determination prevailed in a close game 9-7 for an unlikely 3-2 win.

Biffer Gibson at two maintained the momentum winning in his aggressive and brainless style 3-0, followed by Erdogan Ince at one who casually won 3-1.

Captain Rob King will be back to ensure Whitchurch win their last match away at Petersfield to be runners-up and gain promotion.

The lack of available players scuppered any promotion hopes for Whitchurch first team who embarassingly couldn't raise a team for the the scheduled unsociable Friday night game at Alverstoke, who wouldn't accommodate a postponement.

The season with one match to go has finished without even a whimper.