Underbank Rangers had a disappointing end to the season losing out 14-6 to table toppers Kells – and missing out on promotion from National Conference III.
The defeat meant Kells, along with Pilkington Recs, will go up to National Conference II.
Rangers coach Richard Knight was understandably downbeat and said: “I am extremely disappointed that we have lost and that we will not be getting promoted.
“At the end of the day the better team won, we didn’t play anywhere near as well as we have done in previous big games.
“But, I’m proud of the lads, they stuck together but would also like to congratulate Kells, they are the best team in the league.
“I would also like to say a massive thank you to Lee St Hilaire, who after five years, will be stepping down as captain.
“He has made a fantastic contribution to the club and has been a great player.”
It was a hard fought battle between the two sides and the Cumbrians managed to get in with the first try after 11 minutes, but were unable to convert.
The penalties seemed to be piling up against Underbank and after a fight broke out between the two sides, both teams had a player sent to the sin-bin.
With this added pressure, it was Kells who got over the whitewash again before half-time but missed the conversion one more and the game was not out of Rangers reach.
However, just two minutes into the second half Kells scored again, this time adding the goal, and it seemed the game might be slipping away from Underbank.
Nevertheless, the determined visitors were not going to lie down and let Kells walk all over them and after a number of sets on the home side’s line, Andy Boothroyd managed to crash over in a tackle for Rangers, with Neil Barrett converting.
As Boothroyd scored the try, another fight broke out between the two teams in what had already been quite an aggressive game and unfortunately, Boothroyd was shown the red card after he had been sin-binned earlier.
With a man down, Underbank struggled to get over the whitewash again and neither side scored again before the final whistle was blown.
Underbank Rangers: Chappell; Allette, Chatterton, Lang, Noel; Barrett, Usher; Blayden, Boothroyd, Williams, Pawson, Adam, St Hilaire. Subs: Berry, Joyce, Valentine, Farrand.