Raiders were beaten 27-22 as a late converted Geoff Griffiths try swung the game in Blackheath’s favour at Roundstone Lane.
Dawson said: “I am genuinely gutted and the squad is gutted that we didn’t win today against a side who I think were top five last year.
“They came here with all their reputation all their history and we outplayed them from minute one to minute 80.
“Even in the last minute we could have stolen it with a great manufactured try, not a lucky flukey try. The lads are deflated, but I am very positive.”
Full reaction from Dawson and man-of-the-match Kieran Leeming in this week’s paper.