Sheffield Tigers can have no complaints about relegation from SSE National League Two North according to skipper David Bradford who could do nothing to prevent his side being beaten at home by Caldy.
The Tigers went down fighting and eventually lost 28-19 despite being in front at the interval.
Caldy came out of the blocks fastest and a Dominic Kohler try and Richard Vasey conversion gave them an early lead.
But Sheffield were determined to scrap to the bitter end and tries from Peter Swatkins and Louis Spencer and two conversions from Benjamin Parker gave the home side the edge.
Back-to-back tries from Caldy in the second half, however, proved too much of a mountain to climb for Sheffield and a Rupert Broadley try could only put them within two points.
Despite the spirited fight Sean Mackin ran over for Caldy to rub salt in the wounds of the relegated Sheffield – leaving their captain filled with disappointment.
“It was really disappointing to lose because I think at times in the match we showed what we can do,” said Bradford.
“We have to face facts now and that is we are relegated and there is nothing we can do about it now.
“There were times when it was in our hands but we just never seemed to take advantage of any opportunities.
“We have slipped up in vital home games and if you can’t win home games then you don’t deserve to be playing in this league.
“If you’re playing 30 games you expect to win six and stay up so we can’t really have too many complaints.
“We felt at half-time that it was there for the taking but we gave it our all in the second half and our play was good at times but it just wasn’t to be.”
While Sheffield fought valiantly against defeat, Bradford believes that his side’s fate was sealed weeks ago.
But with relegation brings freedom for Sheffield and Bradford expects his side to use their remaining fixtures to start the re-building process.
“There were a few key games like Otley and then Hull away where we needed to win and just couldn’t make it happen.”
“I think in some people’s heads we were already relegated and they went into the matches with that mindset.
“I don’t think that helped and if it was their job then maybe they wouldn’t have thought that way.
“But they gave it their all and we can’t blame anyone now because it’s done and there’s nothing we can do to change it.”
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