Coach Scott Sturdy insisted it was the right decision for Whitchurch to concede their North Mids Shield semi-final tie with Malvern.

With an historic season behind them and a raft of injuries, with more this week, Sturdy was happy to waive away the chance of winning another piece of silverware after topping the table with a 100 per cent record.

But Sturdy knows if the club want to make an impact at a higher level, his players will need to have a proper summer break before they get back to for next year.

On top of the players already sidelined, Henry Hockenull and Mike Oakden joined the casualty list after suffering freak work accidents, while it was also the wedding of forward Ian Gillespie.

Whitchurch have plenty to be proud of this season with first team going through the Midlands Two West (North) by winning all 22 league games to write their names in the club's folklore.

In doing so, they passed the 100-point mark, and finished 23 points clear of their nearest rivals, and Sturdy admitted the side was ready for a breather.

"The players can now have an extended break which they deserve, and which will be good for them both mentally and physically," he said.

"It has been a long season, and a massive achievement to win every game in the league which does not come around very often. The club and the players should feel immensely proud."

His thoughts will now focus on returning to Midlands West One next season, and preparing for far sterner challenges.

"We have got back at the first attempt, and have done it in style, which is very pleasing," he added.

"It shows our squad has now got strength in depth which we're going to need in division one.

"We are under no illusions next season will be tough as it's a very strong league. We will have to work hard, and the first run of games is going to be so important.

"We have developed a strong squad of players, so I expect us to go with what we've got, but we are still open to players approaching us wanting to play here."

The players take a break until June when the club will hold some "fun" sessions, before returning to training in earnest at the start of July.

The Reds tasted just one defeat in all competitions during the season, that being a narrow reverse to Droitwich in the Midlands final of the RFU Intermediate Cup that saw them miss out on a possible final at Twickenham.

Meanwhile, former Wales and British Lions forward Andy Powell will be special guest at the club's annual dinner on Friday, May 18 (7pm), Tickets cost £30.

Tickets can be bought from Scott on 07810 050970.