SWINDON captain Adam Westall conceded his side have “not got out of third gear” over the course of the campaign, after they lost 34-14 to Witney in their final South West 1 East outing on Saturday.
Defeat leaves the Greenbridge Road side fifth at the end of an up and down campaign, during which Westall & Co have struggled for momentum.
The skipper remains optimistic about what the future holds for the club but he admitted it’s been a frustrating season for all involved.
He said: “We’ve spoken about the need to create pressure in games and you do that by knowing exactly what you need to do. That comes with training and everything that goes with it, and we probably haven’t quite got there this year with that.
“That’s the inconsistent nature of our game - if we’re not training regularly, practicing what we need to do regularly, you can’t execute that on a Saturday.
“That was evident on Saturday - we struggled at the set-pieces, both the line-out and the scrum, and if you can’t get your primary ball you haven’t got a lot of chances to win the fixture.
“The positive thing is we’ve come fifth, we haven’t really got out of third gear all season and we know we can. We’ve got guys coming back for next year so we’re still very positive.”
Westall and Ben Saville got the tries for Swindon on Saturday, with the captain adding two conversions for the hosts, who were without a number of regulars over the Easter weekend.
Westall said: “It’s the Easter weekend and on the morning of the game we had three players cry off, which didn’t help.
“We had three of our coaches away as well at Easter, with commitments to their families. It was one of those weekends where it was never going to be, I don’t think.
“It’s not a great way to end the season but they were a good side, Witney, to be fair. “They came down with a full-strength squad and they deserved that win. They were probably one of the best sides we’ve played this season.”
Meanwhile, Royal Wootton Bassett’s 2013/14 campaign in Southern Counties North came to an end with a 37-26 defeat to Thatcham.
Tucker Blinkhorn scored two tries for Bassett, while Dave Martin and Duncan Fulling also crossed the whitewash, with Fulling adding the extras.
Captain Tim Gallimore remained upbeat afterwards, saying: “It was a fixture that was after the end of the season so we were just glad to get a team out. I think we can be relatively positive about Saturday. We played some good rugby, conceded some soft tries. It had an end-of-season feel to it. It was pretty windy and they played with the wind in the first half and made the most of it. They were 27-5 up at half-time but we played some reasonable rugby so we weren’t disappointed.
“We came roaring back in the second half and it was 27-26 going into the last 10 minutes. We just conceded a soft converted try under the posts.”
Finally, in the same division, Swindon College Old Boys handed a walkover to Bletchley.