It’s wrong to kick good men when they are down but some ironies are just too perfect to ignore.
Take, for instance, the one where the Stourbridge directors started the season worried about how they would fund all the win bonuses. Now that’s a beauty.
And what about the bullish pre-season proclamations that 2012 could be the year Stourbridge finally escaped National One. Through the front door.
As it is, their next match could see the Stourton Park outfit exit via the tradesmen’s entrance, should they lose at home to Sedgley Park on Saturday week.
If that happens, and let’s face it we are not living in the Cloud Land of Cuckoos here because Neil Mitchell’s men haven’t won in 2012, the stench of unfulfilled promise will hang in the Stourton air.
And there’s nothing quite as putrid as Eau De Broken Dream, especially when one can’t find the source of the odour.
Which is the case at Stourbridge, a club that has been the model of consistency and sensible husbandry for more than a decade, where good players are coached by good coaches in good facilities.
Yet the ill-fated 2011-12 campaign is about to end without ever really starting. “I can’t really put my finger on it. Honestly, I don’t know why the season has gone the way it has,” laments totemic centre Ben Barkley.
“The effort is there. In the first half of the season we lost a few games by one or two points and that’s 20-25 points which would have made a big difference. But after that, it’s difficult to explain.”
The common consensus is that there is not one, single reason, instead there is a smorgasbord of issues, all of which, by the mere fact they have been articulated by players, coaches or officials, means they must have had some impact.
The loss of watershed matches, which are either the making or breaking of a side, has been critical and when the post-mortem starts many thoughts will return to November and Park Lane.
Bottom of the table Stour finally looked to have found the way to produce the sum of their constituent parts, as they raced into a 13-0 lead only for it to turn into a last minute 36-35 deficit.
They pressed for the winning points but conceded an interception try on the final play to lose 43-35 and return home with neither the win nor even a loss bonus.
When they did put some form together, three wins in four, the mid-season break interrupted their momentum and the home defeat to Birmingham & Solihull, in which they out-scored Bees three tries to nil but lost to six Mark Woodrow penalties, was a devastating body blow.
But problems had bubbled to the surface even before that. Indeed the pre-season optimism is now being regarded in some quarters as a sign of complacency, a failing that undermined them as they lost their first four games.
If there was a superiority complex it was probably born out of Mitchell’s summer recruitment which, on paper at least, looked excellent as he introduced Moseley’s top try scorer Nathan Bressington, points machine Mark Woodrow and outstanding lock Rob Hurrell into his squad.
There was also a raft of returning Bees and some exciting young talent from the student scene. The assumption that things couldn’t fail to come good with that sort of pedigree, quite understandably, grew.
However, what has become clear is that the deal with Worcester has not been as beneficial this year as it was last, which is strange given the fact Warriors no longer have the Championship in which to blood their youngsters en masse.
Where England Under 20s Matt Kvesic and Andy Short travelled up the M5 last year to augment Louis Silver or Ollie Frost at scrum half, support this term has been piecemeal.
Especially in the front row where Stour had great expectations for starlet James Currie only to see him crack Richard Hill’s first team squad, an ascent that has forced Stour to field five tightheads so far.
Nevertheless the responsibility for Stour’s performances rests not with the players and coaches they don’t have, but with the ones they do and in that respect established figures have not done as well this season as they did last.
If anything Stour have been able to name a stronger side, on paper at least, and no-one could disagree with the fact they have at their disposal a combative pack and dangerous backs.
Yet that has not translated into wins, with only five victories in 25 attempts, and errors and indiscipline have been a regular blight upon accuracy levels.
Much of that comes down to the perception of pressure, which has increased with the loss of those watershed matches, and a questionable team dynamic which one player characterised as ‘more chiefs than braves’.
The removal of that pressure, with the acceptance of their fate at home to Rosslyn Park last weekend, produced a far better display than they managed against weaker opposition, Wharfedale, the previous week. Explain that.
All of which, barring the phenomenon of porcine levitation, has added up to the end to Stour’s 11-year stay at level three amid much head scratching.
At least in modern day rugby culture of finding positives there is one Stourbridge’s traumatised followers can enjoy. Think of all the win bonuses that have been saved.