In an incredibly tight pool at the London Floodlit Sevens yesterday evening, the Esher Golden Lions fell to narrow defeats against The Army (21-14) and London Wasps, 17-10, despite leading in both ties.
In amongst a high quality field, including four Premiership sides, a bolstered Lions squad will be left to rue their inability to close a game out, having been ahead in both their games by two tries to nothing.
Wasps eventually exited at the semi-final stage against Saracens, with the Army qualifying from the group as a best runner-up, losing in the Bowl final against Ealing Trailfinders.
Boss Chris Kibble, once again at the helm after enjoying numerous successes in recent seasons, was left frustrated at the end of a night which promised much, but believes the harsh lessons his men learnt will stand them in good stead as the sevens season cranks up.
“This is a fantastic competition and we love competing in it, and the interest it generates gives the players a real buzz. To come so close to getting out of a tough pool is hard to take, especially after playing some very good sevens,” he said.
"We were in ideal positions in both matches and it is a skill in itself to be able to kill off the opposition when you are ahead on the scoreboard, and possession and territory. Credit to Wasps and the Army for coming back and taking the wins, but we know it was in our hands and we must turn that into a positive. We have the ability, mentality and attitude to compete against sides of that ilk, and we will progress as the summer progresses."