This is a learning curve for Larne says Tiernan Lynch

Larne manager Tiernan Lynch. �INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Larne manager Tiernan Lynch. �INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Tiernan Lynch says it is important Larne use their Irish Cup disappointment as a learning curve.

The Inver Park outfit were cruelly dumped out of the competition by holders Coleraine on Friday night.

The result was harsh on Lynch’s side who produced a scintilating first half performance and deservedly went in at the break two goals to the good.

The Bannsiders fought back to level the game but Davy McDaid looked to have won it for the hosts with three minutes to go when he completed his hat-trick.

However Coleraine hit back in stoppage time to take the game to extra time, during which they scored two more goals to break Larne hearts.

“I am obviously disappointed with the result,” said Lynch afterwards.

“We were superb in the first half, did all the things we do on a weekly basis. We showed great courage and great character, got on the ball and we played.

“We were expecting an onslaught in the second half and I thought we should and could have dealt with it a little bit better.

“However, credit to the boys as it was a big night for them and, in the end, it just wasn’t enough.

“I thought we would have gone through when we went 3-2 ahead if I’m honest but it wasn’t to be and it’s a learning curve.

“We have to take it on the chin, congratulate Coleraine and go again.

“We are more than capable of playing at this level.

“I think what we need to do now is to learn how to get games over the line at this level.

“Obviously the tempo is completely different but, as I say, it’s a learning curve for us.

“I’m not going to be critical of the players as I’m proud of them so we pick ourselves up and we go again.

“We want more nights like this. Hopefully we come out on the right side of it the next time.”

Coleraine boss Rodney McAree believes Larne will be a real force to be reckoned with next season.

McAree was suitably impressed with everything that is happening at the club and feels it won’t be too long before they are competing for major honours on a regular basis.

“People are saying it might be a few seasons before Larne are challenging for major honours but I can tell you they won’t be far away,” he said.

“They have the resources to strengthen, they have people at the helm who are tactically very good, and they play a great brand of football.

“They will be a force to be reckoned with next season that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, there was Cup disappointment for Larne Tech Old Boys in their quarter final against Warrenpoint Town.

Johnny Hastings’ side put in a spirited performance against the Premiership side, but eventually went down 3-1 at Milltown, but they deserve so much credit for their showing in the cup this season.