Pertemps Bees 12 Otley 33
The decision to freeze relegation from National One would have been music to the ears of Pertemps Bees' fans, especially after Sedgley Park pulled off a win over Exeter to dump the Solihull side at the bottom of the table. But Phil Maynard was still unhappy with the announcement after his side's defeat.
"The problem was there was nothing on the game for us," said the director of rugby. "We were all geared up for an enormous battle over the next five weeks. To tell the lads that they haven't got to do that, it was a complete change from the side in training this week.
"I would like to have seen us play the game as if it did mean something; we would have done a lot better."
Indeed, this performance looked as though Bees' motivation for the season had been washed away by the miserable weather as they were comprehensively beaten by a stubborn Otley side.
The turning point came as early as the 36th minute. The hosts had just strung together a promising move and as Tim Walsh looked set to go over the line, a body check from Otley's Waisale Sovatabua sent the ball spinning out of the fly-half's hands.
At 5-0 down, a converted try would have re-ignited a fairly dull affair but Walsh's spillage wasn't the only problem, as influential flanker Cae Trayhern had been left lying in a heap on the turf.
Trayhern had picked up a neck injury and had to be airlifted to hospital during the interval, adding further injury woe to Bees' skeleton squad.
Trayhern was discharged from hospital suffering from whiplash injuries, similar to those sustained by prop Jason Hobson against Bedford two weeks ago.
"Thankfully, Cae is not as seriously injured as was first feared," said Maynard.
"It's always worrying when you see players taken off to hospital by ambulance, never mind the air ambulance.
"We called the ambulance because Cae complained that he lost the feeling in some of his limbs but I spoke to Cae on Saturday evening and he had just been released from hospital.
"It's a whiplash type of injury and he will require a cognizance test to establish whether there is any related concussion.
"At this stage, we don't know how long he will be out of action, but he is looks like being a definite non-starter for Rotherham next Saturday."
Otley, who were enjoying their second win at Sharmans Cross Road this season following November's Powergen Trophy victory, opened the scoring with six minutes on the clock.
Second row Jason Oakes wriggled his way over in the left corner, but Rubin Kitching failed to add the extra points.
Bees' Walsh sent the game's first penalty woefully wide of the mark on 25 minutes as the hosts continued to struggle to find a way through.
Then, with Trayhern already awaiting the arrival of the ambulance, an Aaron Takarangi pass was comfortably intercepted by replacement Ian Shuttleworth who scampered three-quarters of the pitch to add an unconverted try.
The situation didn't change after the interval, as Otley's Andy Brown swiftly popped up from a scrum to dive over on 55 minutes.
Full-back Kitching missed the conversion but made no mistake with hooker Mark Luffman's score ten minutes later.
Mystery surrounded Bees' first points as a mass of bodies crashed over the line to secure a try on 69 minutes. However the home side's management attributed the effort, which wasn't converted, to Takarangi.
Kitching added further distance with two penalties in the dying stages before Takarangi doubled his try tally in injury time, Walsh addong the extras.
Kitching then sealed the win with a third penalty to chalk up a third consecutive defeat for struggling Bees.