The weekend's Group 3 junior rugby league action saw both the Kempsey Dragons and Macleay Valley Mustangs suffer a sense of despair in their semi-finals, playing tough knockout matches in Port Macquarie.
The 16s Dragons were beaten 34-6 by Port City Breakers whilst the Mustangs went down 12-8 to Wingham in an extremely close affair.
Jones, also the coach of the Mustangs 18s side, said the squad was fairly unhappy after the Wingham match.
"The boys were extremely disappointed, there's no excuses but our centre Harrison Nemme went down injured before the game and then Flynn O'Loughlin suffered a head knock in the 16s so we were down to two reserves", he explained.
Chris Bull, after playing in the 16s semi-final, backed up for the Mustangs to play two full games.
The match saw the boys from the Macleay hit the lead early and control proceedings however fatigue began to creep into their game as Wingham failed to go away.
"We did the hard work early and were in the lead however late in the match we weren't completing our sets and fatigue really hurt us," Jones said.
"I was worried that the lack of numbers would have an impact and a few of our players were carrying injuries too.
"There was a lot of drop ball but the boys tried so hard and I can't fault their effort.
"Wingham scored a freakish try at the end with a chip and chase to seal the game."
Despite just falling at one of the final hurdles, Jones was happy to see another successful season for the Mustangs 18s after making the grand-final last year.
"We had a good year, the boys thought they'd be in the big dance again so it's disappointing to drop out now but they tried hard and their effort and attendance at training has been great," he said.
"There's a great group of 16 year olds coming through next year as well, Justin Kelly will be a great addition."
Seven out of the current 17 man squad for the 18s will be eligible to play in that age group again next year with 10 players moving onto the senior grades.
"I'd suggest quite a few are good enough to play senior football and hopefully move through the ranks of reserve grade to firsts," Jones added.
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