RFU National League One: Blaydon 32 Stourbridge 20
The fat lady is in full voice singing the lament of Stour’s sorry season with defeat at Blaydon ending even the most fanciful and unlikely scenarios of survival.
Stour’s 11-year stay in the third tier of English rugby ended at director of rugby Neil Mitchell’s home-town club, a club where he has never taken a team and won.
All that is left now is the battle to be the highest-placed relegated team just in case one of the financially-embarrassed teams surviving in National League One should fall by the wayside during the summer opening the possibility that one less team could be relegated.
It is the longest of shots, maybe, but it is the only one left.
Mitchell was philosophical, accepting defeat in the North East was not the reason for relegation.
He said: “We didn’t play too badly and everyone said we were too good to be relegated. Our fate was sealed with other results so no matter what we had done we were doomed.
“There were just so many games we could have won and didn’t. We stayed up last season by just four points and it has been an arduous couple of seasons.
“We are now planning for next season and we want to bounce right back. I am hoping to keep three-quarters of the squad and we will need more additions.
"Even if we had still been in the battle for survival we are running short of players.”
Against Blaydon, Stour had Jim Jenner at No.8, his first game since November, at the age of 43 and the fact he lasted 80 minutes is a tribute to his fitness.