I've got nothing against camera clubs but I do have a bit of a problem with their "competitions". Being successful in those competitions invariably means measuring up to someone else's idea of what is good - and those ideas usually change according to the prevailing dictates of fashion.
By contrast, I've always seen my photography as an endeavour that let's me reflect something of how I see the world around me (and therefore who I am). Within that context, the idea of "competing" against others just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Of course I have nothing against those who do compete. I've seen some shows where I've been astounded by the high quality of work on display. Its just not for me.
So w9cae, I wouldn't read too much into your experience. Stick with what you want to do and what looks good to you. Yes, it might be nice to receive the recognition and/or adulation of one's peers, but ultimately, is that why we make photographs?