BEDFORD School are out of the Daily Mail Under-15 Cup after they fell one try short of overturning a 20-point half-time deficit.
Richard Midgley's team were "shell shocked" at half time, according to their coach, after conceding 20 unanswered points in the first 30 minutes at the hands of Warwick School on a 3G pitch at Maidenhead RFC on Monday.
Bedford failed to get to grips with Warwick's kick-chase tactics in the first period, conceding a try after just three minutes and then a further 15 points.
"They pinned us in our own 22, were all over us in the tackle and were very competitive at the breakdown," Midgley said. "We were shell shocked and regrouped at half time."
The De Parys Avenue side recovered from seven points down in the last round against Stowe to win 17-7, and they were on the comeback trail again against Warwick.
They produced what their coach described as "our best 30 minutes of rugby all season" to score two "outstanding tries" through Jake Carter and Simon Beal.
Ollie Burges expertly converted both tries from out wide in blustering conditions to leave Bedford one converted score away from victory.
They laid siege to the Warwick try line, launching attack after attack which led to half a dozen penalties for a variety of offences.
But they just lacked the composure to force their way over line and bowed out of the competition.
"The boys were absolutely devastated," Midgley said. "They are not an arrogant bunch but they were really confident they could go all the way in the competition. But, I guess, that's just the way it goes."