Acting captain Craig Spearman praised youngster Alex Gidman after his gallant, but unsuccessful, attempt to see Gloucestershire into the final of the Twenty20 Cup.
The 22-year-old kept them in the hunt after Spearman, Jonty Rhodes and Ian Harvey had been dismissed by Surrey with only 17 on the board.
The loss of those three wickets inside the first six overs when fielding restrictions were in force was the turning point after the Lions had managed 147-9 in their innings.
Gidman hit 61 off 49 balls but perished as the pressure increased, with Surrey eventually scraping home by five runs.
"Partnerships are the most important thing in this game," said Spearman, who was leading the side in the absence of Mark Alleyne (back injury).
"In the games we played in the round robin, we were able to win the first six overs but today it was a different story.
"If you don't win those, you're on the back foot and we could'nt turn it round despite Alex Gidman playing a fantastic innings, with support from Mark Hardinges and Chris Taylor."
Despite their defeat, Gloucestershire have plenty of opportunities left this summer.
"We've got a semi-final of the C&G to play, we're right up the top in the Sunday league and we're still gunning for promotion in Division Two of the Championship, so we've got a lot to play for," Spearman added.
Opposite number Adma Hollioake said he had always been confident his bowlers could keep the Gloucestershire batsmen in check.
"When a team bats first their total becomes the golden egg.
"Teams have got to get there and even 100 puts teams under pressure. We always thought our 140 was a good score."