DUDLEY Kingswinford RFC were left wondering what could have been after missing out on a Midlands Two West play-off spot by only two points.

DK ended the season in third place behind champions Bromsgrove and second-placed Hereford.

Head coaches Neil Shillingford and Mark Lockley were left with mixed emotions after watching their side trounce Stratford 50-27 at Heathbrook on Saturday in their last league game of the season.

Shillingford said: “I have mixed emotions when I look at this season as a whole.

“On Saturday we were pretty gutted because we came so close.

“When you look back you start rueing a host of things we could have done better.

“We must remember, however, this was a very young and inexperienced side at the start of the season, who have reacted well to the pressure put on them and we are extremley proud of their efforts.

“Next year we will have no excuses because they have now picked up that vital experience and have shown what they are capable of when you consider we finished the season as the league’s highest scorers.

“There are a few things we will have to work on from firming up our defence and closing out games.

“We will knuckle down in pre-season for what we hope will be a championship season.”

Shillingford also confirmed that Kiwi Leigh Foster would not be returning next season and that his fellow country man Robbie Harlow was unlikely to be back at Heathbrook for the 2009/10 campaign. This Saturday, DK will entertain Bromsgrove at Heathbrook in the semi-finals of the North Midlands Cup (3pm kick-off).

Dudley have made the final four without playing a game due to the late withdrawls of Solihull and Whitchurch.