Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine must channel pain to fuel for better days

By Graham Luney

To borrow a quote from the late African-American human rights activist Malcolm X: 'There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.'

Just as Linfield licked their wounds after last season's Irish Cup Final loss to Glenavon and gained redemption on Saturday, Coleraine must now learn from this painful experience and be even hungrier to return to the big stage and enjoy their day in the sun.

Andy Waterworth's hat-trick sealed a deserved victory for Linfield and Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney looked on helplessly like a trainer who was watching his boxer suffer a battering in the ring.

"I thought we started well but we struggled to keep possession of the ball after that," he said.

"Congratulations to Linfield though.

"We couldn't cope with them for a 20-minute spell in the first half.

"The only thing I asked of the players was to not have any regrets and leave everything on the pitch.

"I could find seven or eight top performances this season and if we could have generated that it would have given ourselves a heck of a chance.

"But our lads have to start somewhere and while the defeat hurts they will gain from it in terms of experience and hopefully in future that experience will make all the difference."

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