JAMES SHEWELL believes Droitwich have all the credentials of reaching Twickenham again following their 37-15 defeat to Farnham in the RFU Senior Vase at the weekend.
The skipper of the Midlands Three West (South) champions led his team out onto the turf at the home of rugby against London Three West (South) winners on Saturday.
Both sides went into the break level at 10-10 as Droitwich’s Sam O’Brien and Farnham’s Gabriel Hills scored converted tries before the two teams kicked penalties.
Hills and David Hurley touched down again for Farnham after the interval with Toby Salmon keeping the scoreboard rolling over with conversions.
Droitwich were given a glimmer of hope when Peter Knight grabbed a try but Salmon kicked another penalty before brother Mike touched down to seal the victory.
Despite the defeat, Shewell told the Standard all the squad is geared up for attempting to reach Twickenham again.
“I was a little bit worried after the game if the players would have a lack of ambition or lack of hunger,” he said.
“But having read all the messages from the squad, the Twickenham experience has certainly made them hungrier for more success so hopefully we can get there once again.
“It was a grand day out and it amazed me how many people from Droitwich came out to support us.
“There was nearly 1,000 people from the town there but it’s just a shame the result did not go our way for them.”
Farnham were first to get on the scoresheet as Hills showed his clinical prowess to run down the wing for the opening converted try.
Despite narrowly missing out on tries on two occasions, Droitwich eventually got their just rewards as O’Brien touched down before Bobby Scott-Walker converted to make it 10-7.
But Farnham managed to draw level with the final kick of the first half courtesy of Salmon before he kicked a penalty immediately after the restart to nose his side ahead.
Hills then sprinted through for his second try of the game with Salmon converting as Farnham stretched out a 20-10 advantage.
Farnham then pulled further ahead as Salmon converted Hurley’s try.
Droitwich continued to press and Knight managed to cross the line with 20 minutes to go.
However, a penalty and try from Mike Salmon ensured Droitwich suffered their first and only defeat of the season.
“Farnham have been the best side we have faced all campaign as they had far more attacking weapons and asked a lot of questions of our defence,” said Shewell.
“But I was confident at half-time that we could go on and win it.
“However, we had a mad ten minute spell at the start of the second half where they scored two very good tries from a few moments of brilliance.
“It was a little bit disappointing to lose our unbeaten record especially after looking back at the errors we made on the highlights.
“Those kind of errors have not been made all season but we will not over analyse it and will not let it gloss over what has been a fantastic season.”
With the season now over and plans being made for life in Midlands Two West (South) in the pipeline, Shewell hopes Droitwich can keep on progressing.
“Throughout this season we have been moving the goalposts and raising the bar in terms of our targets and we will be doing the same next year,” he added.
“Hopefully we can go on some more cup runs but we cannot think about our aspirations in the league until after the first seven or eight games.
“Next season we need to make the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground a fortress and then see what results we can get away from home.
“There’s so much confidence in the squad but I have told everybody to have a break now because we don’t want to be tired come Christmas.”