HENLEY Hawks were relegated to National 2 South, despite a batting 14-14 draw at drop-zone rivals Tynedale.
Hawks needed to win and deny Tynedale a bonus point to guarantee survival, but could not build on a 6-0 lead.
However, with the North East club having lost only once at home this year, Henley went down after a real fight.
Having pulled level at 14-14 with a 70th-minute try from wing Christoph Bart, Hawks produced a stirring finish.
Their forwards were twice held up, while on a third occasion, lock Josh McNally was agonisingly unable to touch down.
On 80 minutes, flanker Matt Charters was yellow-carded for collapsing a Hawks maul.
In the dying moments Tynedale conceded two penalties, but Henley were unable to control the ball from the resulting line-outs.
Tynedale were denied early tries from wing Sep Vasser and Charters due to feet in touch.
Henley used the wind well and penalties from fly half James Comben, after 23 and 28 minutes, put them ahead.
Home flanker Dan Temm forced his over for a try before the break.
Fly half Gavin Beasley slotted two penalties for Tynedale either side of one from Comben.
Beasley’s drop goal made it 14-9 before Bart squeezed over.
But Tynedale held on, leaving Henley to rue what might have been.