LUDLOW Hockey Club men’s first XI ceded control of their promotion destiny with defeat in a seven-goal thriller at top-two rivals Stourport.

The 4-3 loss dropped Ludlow to fourth in West Midlands Division One and with two games remaining they stand on 41 points, with the top three – Market Drayton, Redditch and Stourport – all on 44.

Ludlow must now win their final two matches – at home to basement side Leek this Saturday and away to second-placed Redditch – and hope other results go their way to have a chance of going up.

Ludlow Ladies lost 2-0 at home to Shrewsbury seconds in the Marches League while Tenbury Ladies firsts also fell at home, beaten 2-1 by high-flying Bromsgrove in Worcestershire Division One.

Tenbury had not played for several weeks and trailed 2-0 at the break, suffering a further blow when key attacker Abi Davis went off with an injury.

The hosts improved after the break and deservedly pulled a goal back through Alice Bufton.

Tenbury thought they had earned a point when Bufton won a short corner and Vicky Jones fired home but the goal was disallowed.