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Cup misery is our own fault, admits Suffern

By Michael Sadlier

Published 18/01/2016

Holding on: Ballynahinch’s David McGuigan in action
Holding on: Ballynahinch’s David McGuigan in action

For the second year running Ballynahinch's bid to reach the All-Ireland Bateman Cup final ended in disappointment as they lost out 35-31 in a nine-try clash at Galwegians.

The semi-final hung in the balance in a tight finish as both sides, who are incidentally locked together in a relegation dogfight in the AIL's Division 1A, slugged it out to make the shoot-out for silverware. But, ultimately, Hinch had just chased too hard and the Connacht side deservedly advanced.

Hinch coach Derek Suffern, who must now regroup his squad for an absolutely must-win AIL clash at fellow strugglers Terenure at the end of the month, said: "We came back well, but we gave them soft scores early on which we hadn't done the week before (in the AIL).

"It's very frustrating as we would have liked to chase this silverware but we only have ourselves to blame. If we can stop the simple things from going wrong and learn from this to win at Terenure then well and good."

Tries from David McGuigan, John Madden, Manihera Eden, Craig Trenier and Justin Rea, with three conversions from Chris Quinn, got the Co Down side - who outscored Galwegians five tries to four - within range of snatching it just a week after they beat Galwegians in the league clash at Ballymacarn Park.

This time, though, it was largely about Hinch having to keep bouncing back. Even though they found themselves 25-12 behind before half-time, they recovered after the restart when full-back Eden got a touchdown which cut the home side's lead to eight.

But the Connacht side pushed on again and took things to 32-17 with their fourth try. Hinch might have folded at this point but another revival was at hand with prop Trenier and replacement Rea scoring - Quinn converting both - to cut the home side's lead to a solitary point.

It made for a dramatic finish but Galwegians nailed a late penalty and they now meet Cork Constitution in the final after the Munster club overcame UCD.

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