Rick Ankers insisted he was proud of his Burridge side after they went down to Southern Electric T20 Cup final defeat.
The skipper saw his bowlers smashed around the Ageas Bowl in ruthless style as South Wilts captain James Hayward hammered a remarkable 130 from just 50 balls to help his side to 233 for six from their 20 overs.
But in front of a decent crowd, Burridge made a game of it with their innings – rather than rolling over – and eventually closed 72 runs adrift on a creditable 161 for nine.
And Ankers was pleased with his charges, who stuck to their guns throughout the contest.
He said: ‘I was proud of the team’s performance.
‘I’ve told the lads to be positive about the fact we got here and beat some good sides along the way.
‘We’ve enjoyed it. It’s great for the club and now we want to go on and win promotion from division one.
‘All the lads have loved playing at the Ageas Bowl.
‘It was a good night, despite the result. We just came up against a better side.’
Realistically, with Burridge needing nearly 12 runs per over from the first ball, they never had much hope of mounting a successful chase.
But Derek Kenway – who came in for some fearful stick when he was bowling – hit a courageous 43, including one over that went for 28, to give his side a glimmer of hope of achieving the impossible.
Ankers said: ‘Trying to chase 233 was always going to be pretty hard.
‘We knew we had to go really hard at the start but if you lose a couple of wickets early, as we did, you will always struggle.
‘When Des (Kenway) got out, I think we knew we wouldn’t get there.
‘But I felt we still had a chance up to that point because he was going really well.
‘Then I got run out and Des hit one up in the air and that was the end of that really.
‘At halfway, we thought we had a chance of chasing it.
‘Obviously, someone would have to play a tremendous knock as Hayward did for them but I felt we were in it.’
Hayward’s batting was the difference between the sides as he seized on anything loose to maximum effect.
Ankers said: ‘He got going early and batted really well to be honest.
‘He just struck the ball so sweetly from the word go and there is not much you can do about that.
‘We didn’t bowl overly well and there were a few bad balls in there – you can’t afford to do that if a batsman is in that kind of form.
‘He just targeted the short boundary and made the most of it.
‘There’s not a lot you can say to a bowler who is getting smashed other than “try to drag it back, lad”.
‘The young lad Seth (Jackson) went for 28 in his first over and bowled two full tosses that went for six with his first two balls.
‘He hasn’t done that all season but these things happen in a cup final and he came back well.
‘I thought everyone showed a lot of character out there.’