OAKHAM slipped to fourth on the final day of the season last Saturday.
The Oaks lost 24-21 to Belgrave at the Showground on a day when ill discipline again proved costly.
Svend Larsen and James Cooper were both yellow-carded during the second half and Belgrave scored late on to steal the victory and with it, third spot in the Midlands East (North) table.
Coach Adam Copperwheat, who stepped down after the game to take up a coaching role with Leicester Tigers, said: “Everybody has to work that little bit harder when you’re a man down and their final points came in the last 10 minutes. Our discipline let us down.
“They were strong up front and had us under pressure at the scrum. We couldn’t produce enough ball for our backline.”
James Padley, Tom Burton and Tom Armstrong all touched down, and Mark Matthews added two penalties.
Copperwheat’s resignation means the Oaks have to look for a new coach for the second successive season.
Already a rugby development officer at Tigers, Copperwheat was offered a role with the Leicester club’s elite juniors that would clash with his role at Oakham.
Copperwheat, who had already made his decision prior to Saturday’s game, added: “I will still be registered as an Oakham player.
“I have really enjoyed it (at Oakham) and the committee have been nothing but supportive.
“The potential is massive. There are some really good players. There is a really strong core but they need the whole team to realise they could also be very good.
“The difference is that Market Bosworth (who finished second) get all 1st and 2nd XV players at training while we get 12 or 13 and cannot work on the situations we need to in training.”
Oakham: Demo Gonsalves, Adam Copperwheat, Ryan Corner, Phil Gant (Simon Brannan), Russell Hopkins, James Cooper, Pete Woolston (Martyn Stimson), Tom Amrstrong, Ollie Easson (Ollie Baines), Mark Matthews, Corey Archard, Tom Burton, James Padley, Svend Larssen, Will Armstrong.
l TOUCH rugby continues on Wednesdays evenings at 7pm at Oakham Rugby Club until pre-season training resumes.