Were a poor second - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
be a poor second (redirected from were a poor second)
be a poor second
To finish a race or competition well behind the winner. Primarily heard in UK. I didn't expect to be a poor second in the race—who knew Kate was so fast?
be/come a poor second, third, etc. (especially British English) finish a long way behind the winner in a race, competition, etc: The Socialists won the election easily with 40% of the vote, with the Democrats coming a poor second with only 26%.