Pertemps Bees 16 Bedford Blues 68
Huddled under the canopy of their small stand, replaced Pertemps Bees' players - men who had tried, failed and been battered in the process - watched forlornly as another booming Ali Hepher clearance dropped on to the roof.
The puddle that descended on their heads a couple of seconds later was an eloquent allegory for their afternoon. It never rains, it only pours.
There were leaks everywhere on Saturday, not least in the hosts' rearguard, which ushered Hepher's dominant Bedford team to their line on no less than ten occasions.
The whole club was shell-shocked. Venerable stalwarts went around making sure all and sundry knew their team had not conceded 70 points. That, after all, would have been one-sided.
Crestfallen players sloped off home within an hour of the final whistle and their director of rugby, Phil Maynard, could barely comprehend what he had just seen. He spoke only of negatives and embarrassment.
His side had just bumbled to their heaviest home defeat in league rugby. Not only had the conceded the most points, they had also lost by the biggest margin. The 50-0 battering from Wakefield, administered in 1987, could not have been this brutal.
It wasn't a lack of effort that was the problem. Bees tackled themselves to a standstill but by the end were powerless to prevent the visitors doing as they liked. It was similar to seeing a cat toy with a dead mouse.
Just when you think fate has dealt you a bum hand, he compounds the misery by dishing out a royal flush and full house to your main rivals.
Wins for Doncaster and Otley dumped Bees into the National One relegation zone for the first meaningful time since Maynard arrived at Sharmans Cross Road in 2002. Quite what that does to their state of mind is anyone's guess.
Do the players have the stomach to fight on? Having lost three forwards to injury inside the first half-hour do they have the resources to make a comeback even if they want to?
And, most presciently, will the Rugby Football Union's Council afford them a stay of execution if they do remain in the bottom two. Who knows?
What is certain is that their season boils down to their last five games. Three at home - to Otley, Nottingham and Doncaster - and two away, at Rotherham and Newbury.
In their pomp Bees would have been confident of winning at least three but if the evidence of this match can be extrapolated across the remaining five you would have to concede that is unlikely. At this stage of a campaign momentum is everything and Bees went backwards - quickly - against Bedford. Maybe their best chance of survival lies in a union committee room.
The contrast with their previous home match, an outstanding 23-16 win over Exeter, was the definition of stark. Maynard accounts for the difference thus: "We went down to Penzance last week and both teams battled themselves to a standstill. A third full-time team was one bridge too far for us."
His argument is borne out by the fact that, while Bees were getting their hides tanned, Cornish Pirates lost at bottom club Sedgley Park.
Yet his job is to pick up his troops, patch up their bodies and their minds and send them out to face Otley in under a fortnight. He will have to do that without Duncan White and Matt Miles who are likely to be out for the rest of the season. White is in plaster with a suspected broken leg while Miles has ruptured ankle ligaments. Try finding the silver lining in that cloud.
Maynard can't. "There are no positives we can take from this," he said. "It was the worst performance of the season, especially in the last 20 minutes, but we have got to draw a line under it, move on and get back to what we have to do."
Which is work hard, defend well and make the most of what opportunities they can create.
For ten minutes it looked as though they would do all those things. Twice they ran out of their own 22 and won
penalties in the Bedford half. Ben Harvey thumped both over to give his side a 6-0 lead. How misleading.
Bedford began to monopo-lise territory and possession to such an extent that they had a try bonus in the bag by half time. Conversely, Bees had only Simon Martin's score to compensate for a 26-13 interval deficit.
The second period was savage. Two more tries came in the first 20 minutes and then another four in the last quarter as home defenders flopped off ball-carriers like ragdolls. Hepher missed only one conversion and that, more than anything Bees did, was why it wasn't 70.