OLD TECHS chairman David Evans says the Devon Two club have to take the positives out of their David Butt Memorial Trophy run.
The Weston Mill-based side reached Sunday’s final where they narrowly lost 21-15 to Devon One promotion-hopefuls New Cross.
Techs had beaten another Devon One side, Totnes, in the semi-finals and they gave a good showing of themselves against New Cross at Barnstaple.
“We’re disappointed because we thought we had the potential to win the game,” said Evans after the showpiece event.
“But it was probably just too little, too late really.
“The first half we were a bit stagnant and then only once we went a few points behind did we seem to really starting playing.”
New Cross, who finished fourth in Devon One last season, have only lost three matches in their last 26 games, but Old Techs certainly gave them some worrying moments, particularly in the second half on Sunday.
“I think New Cross are one of the favourites to win Devon One this season and we are a Devon Two side,” said Evans.
“This was our first loss of the season, but we have to take the positives out of it.
“We have to think positive in the fact that we beat a Devon One side last week and came close to beating another this week.
“It just came down to a couple of missed chances and maybe weak defence for two of their tries.”
Evans added: “Old Techs are proud to be part of the first cup final in Barnstaple. Hopefully, we can reach the final again, but as a Devon One side.
“Playing in the final was good for our players. We won the Lockie Cup final last season. That was our first cup final in a while, so to be in this one and be close will be a foundation for us to build on and take forward.”
Old Techs, playing into the strong wind, started well and had the chance to open the scoring in the 11th minute, but Billy Evans missed a penalty attempt.
His opposite number, Ryan Wotton, then missed one at the other end before he gave his side the lead with a second attempt on 19 minutes.
Techs, though, pulled level nearly straight away with an Evans penalty, before Wotton restored New Cross’ three-point advantage with another successful kick.
Wotton then scored the game’s opening try when he crossed in the 37th minute after spotting a gap from an attacking scrum. That made it 11-3.
Techs came agonisingly close to scoring a try just before the break with a well-worked move down the blindside from a drive. New Cross, though, did really well to make a last-gasp tackle.
Techs had the wind advantage second half, but before they got the chance to use it they found themselves 16-3 down as their opponents scored straight from the restart.
New Cross kicked off for the second period and Shawn Bayliss collected the ball and ran in to score in the corner after less seven seconds of the half.
Old Techs just were not switched on for the start of the second period and that try proved crucial in the end.
The Plymouth side did get back into the game when prop Tony Luxton scored from a drive in the left corner on 56 minutes.
Techs continued to press but they suffered heartbreak in the 75th minute when they were harshly deemed to have put a foot into touch in their own 22 collecting a testing kick, giving New Cross an attacking line-out from which Dayne Leyton scored to make it 21-8.
That was a real blow to Techs, who had been looking the most threatening. But they did not let their heads go down and they dug deep and were rewarded with a penalty try, which Evans converted to set up a thrilling final two minutes.
Techs made 50 metres from the restart but just as they got themselves into a good position inside New Cross’ half they dropped the ball and the referee blew up for full-time.