TROWBRIDGE head coach Dan Jeffries says there can be no shame in coming up just short of the required mark to clinch promotion last weekend.

Having finished runners-up to Wimborne, courtesy of a 35-0 win over Devizes on the last day of the Southern Counties South season, Jeffries’ side faced a play-off with Southern Counties North runners-up Bicester, a tie they ended up losing 53-20.

Less than five minutes into the contest, Lewis Jordan attempted an interception, which would have seen Trowbridge take the lead but knocked the ball on and received a yellow card and the visitors proceeded to fall 15 points behind.

Trowbridge’s forwards maintained control and responded with a try from Max Day, converted by Tom Weaver, but Bicester were continuing to cause problems out wide and further extended their advantage.

Jay Patterson scored an unconverted try before the break to reduce the arrears to 25-12 and restarted the game well, with a kicked penalty from Weaver.

However, two tries in quick succession for the hosts all but killed the game as a contest and despite Day securing his second try of the afternoon, it was little consolation on a disappointing day for Trowbridge.

“It was just a game too far for us,” said Jeffries.

“The start wasn’t great and ultimately that cost us.

“We kind of hit our peak last week, played really well and it seemed the focus just wasn’t where it needed to be.

“They were a good side, who took their chances well and that sharpness just beat us to it.

“We looked like we were at the end of a long season.”

Jeffries' attentions now turn to next term and he knows that a few additions to a side, of which he handed out more than 20 debuts last season, and cutting out the poor results against some of the league’s lower outfits, they can compete for promotion again.

“I said to the lads before the game that the season wouldn’t be judged on Saturday’s result,” he added.

“The movement we have made in the last year has been really positive and we were in the hunt and fallen one game short.

“The momentum it has given us going into next season and the experience and the continuity as a team means we will head into that season much stronger.

“We’ll be looking at bringing in a few more players and that will put us in place to push for an outright promotion.”