The better team won - Lynch

City of Derry coach Bevan Lynch says that his players must learn from their defeat to Dungannon in the final of the Ulster Senior Cup.

The Judges Road based side made the 75 mile journey down the M2 in treacherous conditions on Thursday evening and their stoicism was not to be rewarded as they lost the game without registering a single point on the scoreboard.

Dungannon, who are a whole two divisions above Derry, controlled the game from the beginning and stamped their authority all over the proceedings when they recorded two tries in the first five minutes of play.

"The best team won on the night," he said. "They had experienced players in all the key positions and I also think that they coped with the weather conditions better than we did."

Lynch acknowledged that the snow and cold weather impacted upon the game and revealed that, at times, his players were so cold that they found it hard to control the ball.

"Some of the players said that that the cold was so severe that they couldn't feel the ball when they were passing it.

"The ball was also constantly wet which made it really hard to play the quick passing game."

Lynch conceded the fact that his team did their aspirations of winning the trophy no favours after Dungannon were allowed to score two tries within the first few minutes.

"In fairness to Dungannon, they took their scores and executed them well.

"When we conceded two tries so early on in the game, I knew that things were going to be really hard. We were under the cosh for quite some time but we did have chances of our own but we didn't take them."

The average age of the City of Derry team is under the age of 22. Lynch suggested that their youthful enthusiasm for the big scores may have been to their detriment but praised the way in which his players battled to the bitter end.

"There were a few times when we should have just taken the penalty but I suppose the lads wanted to get the team back into the game by way of a try.

"Although we were always chasing the game I have to commend the team for never giving up; I was really proud of that."

City of Derry are currently second in the All Ireland AIB Division Three. Derry are only one point behind league leaders Instonians and Lynch believes the cup defeat can help them in their pursuit of promotion to Division Two.

"We have played some good rugby this year but I think the guys will realise after Thursday's defeat that if they are to perform in the big games then they must take their chances and be much more ruthless when it comes to scoring.

"Before we started this season we never anticipated reaching the final so for us it was a bonus. We want to win promotion this year and if we are to do so then we need to continue to work hard."

Although disappointed with the defeat, Lynch praised the travelling support and added that he hoped to reward the fans with promotion at the end of the year.

"The fans were great. They travelled in the bad weather. That really impressed me. Hopefully we can repay them with some results and maybe the gift of promotion at the end of of the season."