Launceston City’s season of promise has continued to fade late in the year.
The second-placed Devils were never really in the hunt against South Hobart, going on to lose to the mid-table side 4-2 at Darcy Street.
It has now put City under immense pressure to retain the runners-up plate for the second year in a row.
Taroona are well placed to overtake Luigi Gugliotti’s charges should it win in Sunday’s clash with Hobart Zebras and move within a point of the struggling rival.
Waiting for City next week is Ulverstone, who recorded its 19th win in 19 matches.
The extraordinary feat was sewn up in a 5-0 sweep of bottom side University.
The Reds are now 23 points ahead of City after both sides went their first five games level on 15 points.
For City that has lost several key players over the past month, those halycon days seem a long time past.
City were put on the back foot in the opening minute against South Hobart when Elaine Fader scored.
But Kiara Walsh equalised in the 14th minute off a rebounded shot from sharpshooter Emily Hernyk.
South Hobart responded well and almost put the game beyond doubt by half-time.
Phoebe Djakic was in hot form and scored a double in the 27th and 35th minutes.
South went out to a three-goal lead halfway through the second half and the lead could have been more.
City saved some face when Henryk’s attempt again was swooped on by teammate Lillian Shegog.