Harrogate captain George Ross conceded the club’s title aspirations were all-but over after being on the wrong end of an onslaught from Yorkshire Academy on Saturday.
Despite winning the toss on a “dead” St George’s Road wicket, Harrogate were blown away by the Academy pace attack and collapsed to just 84 all out in 25.2 overs.
Five Harrogate batsmen – including captain Ross - were sent back to the pavilion for ducks as the home side never recovered from dropping to 42-6.
Jonathan Tattersall was the only thread of string holding the card together as he struck 32 from 55 balls.
Academy made the target inside 18 overs, with Ben Ainsley scoring an unbeaten 44.
“It was just one of those days where everything just went wrong,” said Ross.
“Everyone who plays sport will have those sorts of days.
“Hopefully it was just a one off. If it happens every week like that, something needs to be said to the players, but with having two great results beforehand, it’s a case of taking it on the chin.
“We just got them on one of their hot days.
“They were bang up for it and every bowler bowled really well.
“Now it’s a case of bouncing back and keeping as positive as possible.”
The heavy defeat leaves Harrogate lagging 16 points behind Yorkshire League leaders Barnsley in fourth spot, and Ross believes that gap is nearing an insurmountable one.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hull, Ross added:
“It was always going to be a bonus if we got anywhere near that title with such a new team.
“It would have been an extraordinary achievement to get to that top spot because it’s the first year I have had to build this team. We need to be realistic in our aims.
“But you never know. If we win our last set of games we could pressure on and then anything can happen.”