Coach Rob Fisher took a squad of just seven - including himself - to face Cossacks at Brightlingsea in the Pool stage of the Suffolk Cup.
A tight first quarter was blown open by Cossacks as they went on a 10-0 run in the seventh minute, before Jess O’Brian stopped the rot, with Bulldogs down 24-16 after one.
However, Bulldogs clawed their way to a 36-37 lead at the half, with Oli Cowling and Jim Walker connecting from range.
Cossacks opened the third on a 10-2 run to retake the lead, as they used their height advantage to control the glass and while the Bulldogs closed the gap with another three from Cowling, Cossacks closed on another strong run to take control of the tie with a 64-50 lead.
While Walker, Cowling, David Wise & Fisher all connected from deep in the last quarter, Bulldogs could not close the gap as Cossacks ran out to an 88-71 win.
Bulldogs leading scorers were Jim Walker with 19 points on 5/7 from three, and Oli Cowling with 16 points on 4/6 from three.
“It was a hard fought game, and ultimately, we ran out of legs.” said Coach Fisher.
”I can’t take anything away from our guys, they worked their tails off, but Cossacks were a bit bigger, a bit deeper, and a bit more aggressive... then when Ash Read went out with a nasty eye injury too, it was all just too much to overcome.”
Up next for The Suffolk Reserves is a return trip to Cossacks in the league next week, when the Suffolk side will be hoping to bounce back.
Bulldogs player of the game was Jim Walker.