Giles White remained philosophical after seeing his Hampshire side fall at the semi-final stage in their quest to defend the Friends Life t20 title and insisted: We’re still a better side than we were last year.
The Royals manager saw his men put up a brave display in the showpiece event at Edgbaston.
But the bare facts were they simply failed to scale the same heights they had reached throughout the round-robin phase and ended up losing to Surrey by four wickets.
Despite being the strongest side throughout the group stage, it just didn’t happen for them when a place in the final was up for grabs.
White, however, is a master of keeping things in perspective and was not too downbeat.
He said: ‘We are a better one-day team this year than last year, even though we haven’t won the trophy this time.
‘You always know when you get to this stage, you can lose a game and not win the trophy.
‘We didn’t play our best game on the day – it’s as simple as that.
‘It was always the case where we didn’t quite have enough runs but I thought the boys defended the total well and gave us a chance.
‘We dominated the group stages but we didn’t quite turn up on the day when it really mattered.
‘In other years, we have probably been in different situations where we have turned up on finals day after being inconsistent through the group stage. This game can be like that.’
The Royals would have been the first side to retain the domestic t20 title.
But their powerful batting line-up did not fire on all cylinders as they struggled to post a competitive total, closing on 142 for nine.
They showed they were not prepared to give up their crown without a fight, though, and turned in a courageous bowling performance as Surrey eventually edged home with four balls to spare.
White said: ‘Just a few little things didn’t go our way – there are fine margins in this game.
‘The boys have been very good in those key moments in the past few years and we had a few go against us.
‘James Vince and Michael Carberry have been outstanding for us throughout the competition.
‘But it didn’t go their way this time. To lose them early was hard and then we lost wickets at the wrong time.
‘To get 142 was probably 20 shy of where we wanted to be.
‘But you have to be able to take the rough with the smooth in this game sometimes.
‘You can’t afford to be too up when you win or too down when you lose.
‘We are all disappointed and there are a lot of gutted players but you have to pick yourself up after a defeat.
‘We have been in positions where we have been in finals quite a lot over the past few years.
‘We’ve had some success but you’ve also got to realise you are not going to win every time.
‘You just have to take it on the chin sometimes and credit to Surrey who were that little bit better than us on the day.’