Cork Con's star man Hayes is happy to mix it up on wing

Cork Con's star man Hayes is happy to mix it up on wing
Brian Hayes scores a try despite the tackle from Danny Riordan of Old Belvedere. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

RTE’S man-of-the-match in Cork Con's Bateman Cup final win on Saturday, Brian Hayes, expects a fair bit of stick again during the week.

Not because of his award, more due to his hogging of the touchlines to score tries in the corners.

The powerful second-half admits it’s not the natural order for wingers to deliver try scoring passes for locks to grab the limelight.

Hayes collected his seventh try of the season with Con’s crucial second immediately after Old Belvedere had scored theirs to cut the gap to 13-10.

“If you hang out long enough on the wing you’ll get a try or two. I’ll probably get stick about it again in training.

“Wingers, I suppose, shouldn’t be passing to second-rows for tries, but I’ll take it,” he said.

Hayes benefited from a succulent Liam O’Connell offload after the winger had earlier given Con a major boost with the opening try after 10 minutes.

Con’s latest victory, to complete five-in-a-row, is a huge credit to the club, according to Hayes, who won his fourth national cup medal.

“It’s a magnificent achievement given the change-over in players in that spell.

“We only had a settled team this season and last and it sets us up nicely for the league final on Sunday.

“Mind you we could have won it three or times during the second-half, trying off-loads and stuff like that in the summer conditions, but not converting our many chances.”

And he supported captain Niall Kenneally’s decision to hand Tomás Quinlan the ball to kick at goal with that late penalty.

“It’s one of the first big kicks, Tomas has missed all year. When you’re five points up in a cup final, you’ve to take a kick at goal to make it a two-score game again. It was the right decision.”

Hayes, like many, was puzzled by Con’s inability to score with the wind in the second-half.

“I thought we played a lot better in the first-half, when playing into the wind. You have to keep the ball a bit more,” Hayes added.

Meanwhile, coach Brian Hickey reckoned it was always going to be a hard struggle.

“We left a number of chances behind us which would have made us slightly more comfortable.

“I never expected us to be comfortable against a Belvedere side that asks questions of you all over the pitch. They’ve a lot of players I admire.

“I’ve been coaching against Paul Cunningham for a long, long time and he had a game plan which we had difficulty in coping with.

“We defended admirably late on. Sometimes you’d like to score tries to win games, but I thought our defence was the key thing on this occasion,” he said.

 

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