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Tierney: We Were Beaten By The Better Side

Tierney: We Were Beaten By The Better Side

Cork Constitution head coach Tom Tierney conceded that his team were ‘second best’ as they fell to a four-try 34-13 defeat to Division 1A rivals Ballynahinch on Saturday afternoon.

Cork Con held a 13-10 half-time at Ballymacarn Park having been unable to take full advantage of a first half wind. Their best moments came when Tomas Quinlan kicked two penalties and his half-back partner Gerry Hurley grabbed an opportunist try.

However, they leaked 24 points without reply during a one-sided second period, with ‘Hinch’s strong-running full-back Adam Craig scoring a hat-trick of tries.

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The result marked the Leesiders’ first defeat in seven league games, a run which stretched back to early November. They remain in the fourth play-off spot in Division 1A, but ‘Hinch and UCD are snapping at the their heels – just one and two points behind respectively.

Speaking after the game, Constitution boss Tom Tierney said: “We were on a good run, we were playing very confidently. We knew coming up here to Ballynahinch it was going to be a huge physical battle. We had prepared for it, but hats off to ‘Hinch, they took us and did a job on us today.

“They played some very good rugby in very difficult conditions, in the sense that it was very cold and there was a big wind there. We have to say that we were second best today, they had the upper hand in every facet of the game and they deserved their five points.”

Tierney, who was recently appointed the new Ireland Women’s head coach, felt that it was a combination of Con’s own mistakes and the efforts of ‘Hinch’s ‘game-changing’ backs that led to their downfall.

“We wanted a good start, and got a quick three points from a penalty, then a few missed tackles and a couple turnovers was the main adversity against us today. Ballynahinch went 10-3 up and we did well in fairness to come back and get to 13-10 at half-time. ‘Hinch turned on the after-burners in the second half and played very well.

“Looking at the ‘Hinch results they are unbeaten here (at Ballymacarn Park) all season, and they are unbeaten for a reason. When they get on the front foot, and with the power that they have up front it is well known they are a handful – but a few of the quality backs that they have are real line-breakers and game changers, so we knew were in for a tough second half.

“We gave away a soft try just after half-time, and that gave the initiative to the ‘Hinch. We kind of got ourselves back in for about 10 minutes after the (Jonny Madden) sin-bin, but a couple of poor turnovers…and the momentum was gone from us. ‘Hinch ran out easy winners in the end.”

A break in Ulster Bank League action may come at a good time for Tierney’s men who are due to face Garryowen in the Munster Senior Cup final in two weeks’ time, before resuming their Division 1A campaign at home to St. Mary’s College on January 31.

“Everyone has had a lot of games on the bounce, we are just looking forward to a week off now. We will have to regroup, and we will regroup and we will be up for that Senior Cup final with Garryowen. You never know, we could be meeting (Ballynahinch) again in the Bateman Cup!”, added the former Ireland international.