United Services saw their Twickenham dreams sink in the mud with a 32-5 RFU Junior Vase defeat at Old Walcountians.
Services proved to be their own worst enemies as they failed to adapt to the difficult conditions.
The visitors – playing against the wind and driving rain in the first half – trailed 20-0 at the break.
With the wind behind them in the second period, Services felt they were still in with a chance.
A try early in the second half suggested a Services fightback was on the cards but disappointingly it failed to materialise.
The hosts eventually killed off Services’ hopes with two breakaway tries.
‘It is always disappointing to go out of any competition but we didn’t help ourselves,’ said director of rugby Simon Burns.
‘The conditions were awful but we still went out there and tried to throw the ball around as if it was a dry, sunny day.
‘It was freezing cold and in the driving rain we just made far too many mistakes.
‘To their credit, our opponents punished us for it.
‘We made an average side look good.’
Services started well and put their hosts under some early pressure only to gift them an opening try.
When an attack broke down, the Old Walcountians kicked deep downfield and scored when the visitors failed to clear.
Boosted by the opening score, the home side added three more tries before half-time.
Winger Tom Perrin raised Services hopes at the start of the second period after picking up a poor clearance kick from the home side.
‘We felt we were in with a good chance at that stage and for 20 minutes didn’t let them out of their half,’ said Burns.
‘Unfortunately we made some bad decisions.
‘Every time we pressed their line we would do something daft.
‘They then broke out to score two breakaway tries and we just wanted the final whistle after that.’
Services can now focus on earning promotion from Hampshire one.
They restart their league campaign with a visit to the Isle of Wight in the new year.