BEVAN LYNCH admitted his side seemed to have next week’s All Ireland League finalé against Naas on their minds as Ballynahinch ran in eight tries during an off-colour display by the Judges Road club on Saturday.
Michael Wilson reports
While rivals Banbridge were busy gaining the bonus point victory over Highfield they needed to take the promotion race to the final day, Derry seemed preoccupied as ‘Hinch strolled to a victory that should secure them the Ulster title to go alongside AIL Division Two promotion. A disappointed Lynch conceded his side were not at their best but backed his players to bounce back in time for next Saturday’s decider.
“Our boys played with a bit too much risk, pushing the ball wide when it wasn’t on and of course in that scenario mistakes are going to come up,” explained Lynch.
“Obviously we are disappointed, I thought we were decent enough for periods but you can’t afford to make the amount of mistakes we did.
“We just weren’t accurate enough and Ballynahinch deserve to be Ulster champions, it’s as simple as that. When we played and held onto the ball we showed we can open up any side but we didn’t do that enough and certainly didn’t deserve to win.
“It’s a little bit humbling to concede 50 at home. We rolled the changes and gave everyone a good run-out before the important game, which is next week, but we certainly expected a bit more.
“This is a good squad of players and we had a few lads unavailable because of injury but the players will spring back from this defeat. Perhaps it was a case of having their ‘eyes on the prize’ in the sense of next week. Ballynahinch would be the first to admit we can cause them trouble when we play with accuracy but we just didn’t play with enough on Saturday.”
Derry seemed lethargic after last week’s energy sapping victory at Highfield but Lynch was still surprised at the number of errors his side made, something he says they will have to correct if they are to secure promotion.
“We can’t afford to make as many mistakes as we did. We had a chance to come back into the game in the second half but then gifted them two intercept tries and that 14 points basically finished the game.
“First half, we turned the ball over two metres over from their line and then conceded a score down the other end of the field when we should have been pressing but there were some positives so we’ll take them and move on.
“We threw the game away by continually going too wide without doing the work first. It’s simple stuff but we didn’t do it so next week we have to make sure we do the basics first, get the ball forward, fracture the defence before going wide.
“Ballynahinch had plenty of numbers up and got in amongst us and that’s how those intercept tries happened. These things don’t happen by accident and clearly we will have to go through it in training this week. It is disappointing because we definitely did have a chance when Andy (Semple) got that try,” he added.