Doncaster Knights arrived back home yesterday afternoon having done both themselves and the town proud in their Championship play-off final second-leg tie at Ashton Gate.
Knights produced a relentless display to beat Bristol 34-32 on Wednesday night but went down 60-47 on aggregate.
“Obviously I am very disappointed that we failed to make it to the Premiership,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.
“But I’m very buoyed by the win on the night and hopefully we’ll take that momentum into next season.
“We were written off by a lot of people after we lost the first leg, so to go down there and turn them over in front of a 16,000 crowd made me very proud.
“Even though we trailed 16-10 at half time we still felt we were in contention because a game is never over until it’s over and we scored four tries in the second half against their one.”
“We should have had another when Mat Clark got over just after the break. It was a ridiculous decision.
“Instead of being 17-16 up and within two converted tries of them, we found ourselves 25-10 down.
“But the boys have shown their character all season and they showed that again to twice come from behind to win the game.”
On a night when everyone stepped up to the plate, Griffiths had a special mention for scrum-half Michael Heaney.
Heaney switched to fly-half when Declan Cusack limped off with a calf strain on 48 minutes.
“As he did when he played there earlier in the season, Michael stepped into the breach enabling us to we continue to play as we had been doing,” said the Welshman.
“It was a fabulous effort.”