Barnsley RUFC are holding onto a slim hope of being saved by a restructuring of the leagues after finishing in the Yorkshire Division Two relegation zone.
The Shaw Laners lost 41-3 at second-placed Leodiensian which left them three points adrift in the second relegation place. Depending on the results of play-offs in leagues above, it is possible that only one side will go down this season.
Coach Mark Smith said: “We probably won’t get confirmation for a couple of weeks, but we’re expecting to be relegated. If we are in Yorkshire Three next season, we will be looking to bounce straight back up, and if we are in Yorkshire Two we’ll also be hoping to compete for promotion.”
Barnsley, who have not been in Yorkshire League Three for more than a decade, will now be coached by professional player Ryan Burrrows who has taken over for next season. Smith said: “It’s really disappointing to finish where we have but we have to put a positive spin on it and look at next season with a new coach.
“There is nothing wrong with the squad of players, it just hasn’t quite worked this season and it’s been a very strange league table with loads of clubs really close together. I don’t think anyone has been relegated on 51 points before this season.
"Our coach Andrew Appleyard left a month before the start of the season and that meant we went in a bit cold and lost games we should have won. We have struggled with key injuries and, recently, we have lost games when we were in good positions.”
Meanwhile, Wath lost 28-27 at home to Wheatley Hills but the bonus point they picked up was enough to put them in third place in the final table.