Troubled Harrow Rugby Club is set to withdraw from the London 4 North West Division, having failed to fulfil a fixture for the third time in an injury plagued season.
A desperate lack of front row players had already resulted in one match conceded and another abandoned since the campaign started in September, and it was a similar story last Saturday as the home game with Barnet Elizabethans failed to go ahead.
They have lost five props to injuries, retirement and defecting to a rival team playing several divisions below them, and while their youth-set up is vibrant it is still too early to throw teenagers into the front of the pack.
Now the club's hierarchy is set to end the first team's misery by taking the only realistic option available.
"It is likely we will write to the league to inform them we are unfortunately withdrawing," said club chairman Andrew Smart. "It is probably the fairest way to everyone involved.
"We've had a difficult season to say the least but the simple fact is we are not good enough at the moment."
It is not yet known what tier Harrow will drop in to, although the weaker Herts & Middlesex Four has been mentioned. However, Harlequins Amateurs suffered a similar fate in recent years but re-entered the league at Herts & Middlesex Two, where they romped to the title.
"It is very much a decision for London Competitions [sub-committee for the London and South East Division RFU]," added Smart, chairman for more than a decade. "We will have to satisfy them that we are in a position to play a whole league season."
It was barely a year ago that Harrow were sitting pretty at the top of the table. Since then no less than 18 senior players have headed for the exit door at Grove Field, including former club captain Stuart Nurse, who is now a referee, Paul Carroll, who took up a coaching role with Hendon and Andy Perkins, whose involvement was curtailed by a shoulder injury.
"Losing all of them hurt us badly," commented the chairman. "We just don't have enough good players to do the job at this level.
"The youngsters are just not ready yet. We have an 18-month plan to bring them through into the first team but, for now, it is too much of a big jump into adult rugby for them."
Harrow, whose next league fixture is scheduled for November 29 against Old Ashmoleans at their Stanmore home, now plan to launch a player recruitment drive to assemble a squad not only capable of achieving promotion, but to avoid a repeat of their darkest hour.
"Rugby in Harrow has struggled for a long time and this has been a wake up call for us," continued Smart. "We have seven months to turn things around. The season starts in May and we will make an application to go back into the league.
"Until then we have to put structures in place, go out and recruit players and, more importantly, retain them. There has to be players out there and we've got to do everything in our power to encourage them to join this club. They have the chance to help it grow and improve.
"Whatever level we come back in at we will be competitive and look to get promoted."