Waterloo 38 Bradford & Bingley 30
The Bees gathered a bonus point but find themselves eight points adrift of their hosts and ten points away from escaping the relegation zone with only five games remaining.
While salvation is mathematically possible, the Wagon Lane men will not be giving up the fight.
However, in reality the planning for a season at level six in the pyramid has to begin in earnest.
In a scrappy encounter, the home side capitalised on a slow start by Bees to go two tries to the good.
The visitors’ pack gradually grew into the game but Waterloo were still making hay with the ball in hand and added two further converted tries before the half was up.
The Wagon Laners’ forward pressure was rewarded with a score in return as Ryan Wederell ploughed over.
As the sides turned round at 28-7, it seemed the Bees had a mountain to climb but, with Jason Moss and skipper Brett Mitchell adding grunt alongside Wederell in the rucks and mauls, they started to haul in the home side.
Wederell was driven over for another score, with wingman Jordan Davies intercepting a wayward pass to open his account for the Bees. On the other flank, Tommy Kanouros scooted in after gathering a cross-field kick from Richard Tafa to pull the Bees within touching distance.
Waterloo benefited from a fortuitous bounce to reclaim possession behind the Bees line and stretch their lead. Kanouros added his second but, with only one of five Bees scores being converted, there remained eight points between the sides.
Richard Scull kept the Bees in it almost single-handedly with a fine display of last-ditch tackling but Waterloo claimed the victory.
The Bees are on the road again next week before the final four games on the season find the Wagon Lane club on home turf for three of them.
Unfortunately it may be too late for the Bees to save their season in front of their home support.