EAST Kilbride Rugby Club finally bowed to what had become inevitable when they lost their final two league matches thereby surrendering National One status.
Tuesday's 25-21 defeat at home to Edinburgh University was the final straw and Saturday's 43-26 loss to Ellon merely confirmed the end of season numbers.
EK had to beat the students to remain alive but started poorly, surrendering 18 unanswered points in the first 15 minutes and were unable to claw back the deficit. This defeat meant that the long journey to the outskirts of Aberdeen on Saturday was a dead rubber.
The game was significant, however, on a number of fronts: for an influx of juniors, Calum Hastie, Glenn Neilson, Alex Irvine and Chris O'Neil, tasting their first big-boy bus trip, for the return to colours of former captain, Hooker Steel, after three years out with injury and, sadly, for being the final game in the illustrious career of scrum-half Fraser Stott.
It is unlikely that whilst plying his trade in the professional ranks with Glasgow Stott foresaw his career ending in this fashion, but at least he walks away with his health, if not his looks.
The simple fact is that the league table never lies, and EK were the 11th best team from 12. And yet this is the side which gave runaway champions Lasswade all that they could handle over two league games and a cup semi-final and lost by only five points on aggregate to the other promoted side, Greenock.
The 2009-10 squad was thin at best and the loss of half-a-dozen players from this unit to other clubs prior to the 2010-11 season was difficult to absorb.
While the back five of the pack remained competitive, front row strength in depth was non-existent. Prop forwards Pep Perry and Chris McLellan will not make the front cover of too many Health and Fitness magazines but both showed tremendous resilience in fronting up all season.
The backs never scared anyone and it remains to be seen how they will cope with the loss of Stott. While the penalty count against EK will certainly drop with his retiral, Stott was by a distance the side's best defender and often looked to be the only one with a clear idea of how the game should be played.
Whatever the look of the coaching structure for next season there are two clear issues which must be addressed if there is to be any hope of escaping what is essentially Scottish Division Five.
Firstly, fitness has been a problem all season, with a ridiculous number of games lost in the last 10 minutes. Secondly, playing numbers remain a concern. The reserves were also relegated this season and actually conceded more games than they actually lost on the park, such has been the paucity of players.
Elsewhere, Saturday saw the juniors at Strathaven and while the P4s and P5s both came out on top, perhaps the best performance was from a Primary 1-3 side conceding a fair bit of experience to their opponents.
There were victories over Uddingston, Kelso, Dalziel and Strathaven, with only West of Scotland matching EK. Top performers on the day were Callum Ferrie, Ross McMillan, Ben Everett and the two Adams; English and Reilly.
The S1s put on a real curates egg of a display on Sunday against the mighty Ayr, dominating the first and third periods, but being totally decimated in the middle.
A bullocking run from Paul Cairncross and a 70-metre dash by James McKinnon seemed to set EK up for a comfortable win. However, Ayr came alive in the second period to run in five unanswered tries before EK fought back to edge the third 2-1, with a solo effort from Lewis Macfie and a further close-range charge from Cairncross.