Scarborough RUFC’s bid to play a dream final at Twickenham was shattered as they suffered an agonising 10-6 defeat to Bridgnorth on Saturday.
A bumper crowd of 1,783 packed into Silver Royd and created an electric atmosphere for the Intermediate Cup semi-final, but despite applying long periods of pressure on their visitors’ 22, the hosts couldn’t find the much-needed try and it was the substantial Bridgnorth following who were celebrating at the final whistle.
Coach Lee Douglas was keen to take the positives from the day and was quick to thank the numerous and vociferous crowd for their support.
He said: “They made it even more special. When we walked out it was phenomenal.
“We knew there were a lot of people in the ground, but the atmopshere was incredible and to see the stands packed filled me with enormous pride.
“I had a lump in my throat at the start.”
Douglas admits the game hasn’t left his mind for long since Saturday, and he is having to pick up a disappointed dressing room ahead of Saturday’s home tie against Heath.
He added: “My players were very upset and that is understandable.
“Over the 80 minutes I thought we were the better team, but the key decisions went against us and in the end it was the first 10 minutes that cost us as we let them impose their game on us.
“We had worked all week on imposing our game on them, but we didn’t execute the game plan at the start and that ultimately cost us.”
Douglas is looking forward now and hopes his players will have garnered a taste for the big occasion after Saturday.
He added: “That’s two special occasions we’ve enjoyed in two years at Scarborough, with the Yorkshire Shield final last year and now this, and that’s from a below average turnout for training every week.
“Hopefully the lads will now have a taste for big games like Saturday’s and will roll up their sleeves and graft to bring more days like that here.”
Skipper Tom Ratcliffe added: “To lose was quite heartbreaking, especially with the support we received.
“The adrenalin was pumping, but we let ourselves down in the first 10 minutes.
“We got ourselves back into the game and spent a lot of time in their half, we just couldn’t get over.
“There were a few tears after the game and to see your teammates like that isn’t easy.”