TAMAR Saracens coach Stuart Busfield says his team are heartbroken after narrowly losing 11-6 in appalling conditions at Widden Old Boys in the RFU South West Vase final.
The defeat in Gloucestershire ended Saracens’ hopes of reaching Twickenham.
Busfield is now hoping the team can use their disappointment to fuel their push for promotion out of Devon One and into the Cornwall/Devon League.
Just one single try settled Saturday’s match, with Saracens leading 6-5 at half-time thanks to two Tom Rigby penalties.
“It was heart-breaking,” said Busfield. “It was touch-and-go if the game was even going to be played.
“The ref’s first instinct was no, but we talked about what would happen if it didn’t go ahead. We just thought ‘we are here now, let’s play’, but we really shouldn’t have travelled.
“But every man rose to the occasion and no-one hardly put a foot wrong.
“It was a really intense game, played in appalling conditions. They (Widden) just played the conditions a bit better.
“Our scrum destroyed their scrum, but they dominated the line-outs.
“We had a couple of good breaks that were stopped just short, but they did not cut through us, however in a forward attrition they probably just had a bit more control.
“Our guys were really up for it, but I just think possibly the conditions beat us.
“The nicest thing was Adam Eustace (Widden’s coach and former Gloucester forward) said we were the best team they had played so far this season’, so that was a positive.
“The other big positive is how many supporters we had there. We had the same number as the home team. It was an absolutely incredible turnout and effort from the whole club.”
He added: “We definitely gave a good account of ourselves and have got the name of Tamar Saracens out there.
“It is unfortunate we have not been able to go to the next stage, but it’s been a big learning curve.
“The guys are very deflated because it was so close. We were 6-5 up but just gave away two ridiculous penalties.”
Busfield, though, is hoping Saracens can use their hurt in the right way.
“We have still got the local cups and the league and I am hoping a positive can come out of a negative,” he said.
“The guys are feeling it now; they are hurting, but we’ve got (Devon One leaders) Wessex next week and that would be a good time to put it right.”
Meanwhile, there was also disappointment for Devonport Services in Western Counties West.
They had been forced to replay their game with Kingsbridge after the match ended a few minutes earlier due to an injury to the referee.
Services were 19-13 up in the 74th minute when the match at the Rectory finished.
But league officials would not let the result stand and it was replayed on the artificial surface at Keyham on Saturday, with promotion-chasing Kingsbridge running in five unanswered tries to win 29-0.