Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby team missed out on the chance to win a first-ever double finishing in second place in the final action of the 2018/19 campaign.
Having already bagged the Super Series Division One league title following an undefeated season, the National Championships saw the sports top five ranked teams play one another in a one-off league competition.
The two-day event held at the Morningside Arena in Leicester was eventually won by London Storm following a three-way tie for first place between Storm, West Coast Crash and Tigers, which left the final standings down to goal difference.
Tigers three of their four matches with the one loss at the hands of eventual winners Storm as they edged the match 56-47.
Tigers head coach Darren Matthews was full of praise for his team in spite of missing out on silverware.
“We had a bad game against Storm and fell out of shape offensively making things hard for ourselves”, he said. “Importantly though, we corrected our mistakes for the next match and showed real maturity come back from the loss.
Sometimes you learn more in defeat – it’s how react from it that’s important and I’m very proud of how we did that.
“It’s been a very good season for the squad undefeated – we’ve lost just one competitive game in all competitions all season which is a testament to how the squad has grown.
Tigers won a successive league title and the pressure was on them as the team to beat, Darren explains.
“There has been immense pressure to keep winning. I would say the lesson I have learnt the most this season is the need to trust in the depth of our bench.
Planning begins for next season now as the summer break will involve developing new players, with the aim of launching a second team which shows how the club has grown.
“On the international stage, our Team GB lads fly out for a warm-up tournament in the USA taking on USA, Australia and Japan in May, before the European Championships in Denmark in July as we look to defend our title and qualify for the Paralympics.”