TRIUMPHANT Trowbridge captain Matt Howard believes that Sunday's memorable RFU Intermediate Cup victory was the icing on the cake to a 'perfect' season for the Doric Park men.
Playing at a new ground, Trowbridge have successfully won promotion back to level six this year and added to an already-impressive campaign by historically beating Leek to become national champions at Twickenham last weekend.
Howard concedes that his side had to dig achingly deep to withstand their opponents' relentless late onslaught and clinch a 22-19 victory and the 27-year-old is delighted to be able to reflect on a fairytale season.
“You'd see our guy cross the line, and the referee raise his hand, and you'd breathe a sigh of relief but two minutes later, you're straight back under your own posts,” said Howard.
“You know that three points isn't worth anything in a game like that when they've got the ability to score from anywhere on the pitch - they were making 40 or 50 metres in one phase.
“It was a punch in the stomach every time they went over the line.
“They had the opportunity to kick for the three points to take it to extra-time but I think they thought momentum was on their side.
“But we managed to hold them off for a few phases and got that crucial turnover.
“They really did rally together when they went down to 14 men and to be honest, they were very unlucky in the end, but we were the good enough team on the day to hold them off at the crucial moments and run out winners.
“It's been a bit of a perfect season for the club, moving to our ground and getting promotion back to level six in another bone-crunching game (last month's 27-19 Southern Counties play-off win over Aylesbury) and it's just been a roller-coaster.
“We took the Dorset & Wilts Cup win just before Christmas and if you'd asked any of us then if we thought we'd be going to Twickenham in four or five games' time, none of us would have believed it.
“To get there is one thing but to get there and win; words can't describe it.”
DON'T MISS YOUR 12-PAGE SPECIAL ON TROWBRIDGE'S TWICKENHAM TRIUMPH, OUT WITH THIS WEEK'S WILTSHIRE TIMES ON FRIDAY