WHARFEDALE may have needed a last-gasp Tom Barrett penalty to secure the losing bonus point that finally made them safe in National League Two North at Chester on Saturday.
But the Dalesmen's head coach reflected on the 22-15 defeat by saying: "I know it sounds daft but we were the better team."
The Green Machine had tries by full back Harry Bullough (forward pass) and centre Jamie Guy (knock-on) disallowed.
Doherty added: "Two of the tries that we let in were from set-pieces, which we haven't really conceded all season.
"They were due to miscommunication in terms of numbering up, and we had a chat in the dressing room afterwards about not wanting to be in this situation in the table at this time next season.
"We want to be challenging in the top half of the table, but we have had a better second half of the season, and have picked up points in every game, apart from Leicester Lions away (lost 36-12 on February 18)."
With Wharfedale Foresters leading 24-8 at half-time at Hull in their Yorkshire Cup semi-final last Thursday before losing 50-29, it was a good three days for the Dalesmen.
Doherty said: "The Foresters played outstandingly against a side that are going well in the division below us (they are third in National League Three North).
"Not only does it show what strength in depth that we have, but it will hopefully give the first-teamers a kick up the backside."
Wharfedale are without a match this weekend but finish off their league season with contrasting fixtures.
They host leaders Caldy on Saturday, April 22 before visiting basement boys Preston Grasshoppers the following Saturday.