DEVON Sharks had too many gaps to plug against London Chargers in the Harry Jepson Trophy semi-final as they went out 44-22.
The game was played at Clifton and Sharks travelled without Sharp, Winfield, Stirling, Charita and their influential captain Ashley Ansermoz the club's top points scorer of the season.
Charita and Ansermoz travelled up to Bristol to lend their support. Another big absentee was Tony Wolke, who was abroad on holiday.
With many players playing out of position understandably they made some bad descions in play but as the game settled the mistakes got less noticeable.
Having gone 8-0 down in the first 20 minutes, Sharks started to get into the game.
A Chris Read try near the posts went unconverted, but one by Ollie Hill on the right wing was improved by Matt Hodgson for 10-8 to Sharks at half time.
The second half started badly for Sharks as the Chargers touched down near the posts. Another converted try soon followed as the Sharks were showing signs of tiring.
Sharks suffered a big blow when James Hill, who was having a fine game, had to sit out the remainder of the match after receiving a blow to the head.
As James Hill was being treated the Chargers scored three more tries and effectively killed off any hopes of a Sharks win.
Ollie Hill got on the end of a good cross field move to score out on the right, Hodgson with extras.
Back came the Chargers again with another try to make the score 44-16 before Ollie Hill completed his hat-trick
Hill pounced on a ball spilled in a London attack 10 metres from his own line and out-sprinted the chasing defenders almost the length of the field to score and take his tally for the season to 15 tries.
Sharks went to the semi-finals and no further of the national cup in 2009. Although disappointed, team director Malcolm Whittle said there was much to be proud of.
"With a few more players in the squad, things may have turned out differently," said Whittle.
"Every player in a Sharks shirt did the South West proud, all the players worked their socks off and never gave up especially Briggs, Cartwright and Morris.
"It's been an amazing season beyond our expectations to finish as one of the top four sides in tier four of rugby league.
"All credit goes to coach Joe Bramley for his work and, of course, everyone who wore the blue and white this season."