Bann lose out in All-Ireland semi

Bann’s U19 coach Willie Kirkwood had nothing but praise for his players despite their defeat in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

“I couldn’t have asked for more from them,” he said reflecting on the game. “They gave it everything they had and finished the game exhausted.

“Navan were easily the best team we’ve played this season – mind you they were gracious enough to say the same about us. They were very quick to the breakdown and had two or three players who stood out, especially their tight-head prop. He did damage at scrum time and in the loose and looked a class player.

“We did really well in the first half-hour when we had to defend a lot, and with five minutes to play before the interval the score was 10-10. But then they scored two quick tries so we went in to the break 22-13 down and when they scored again early in the second half we were left with too much to do.”

A first half try from centre Ben Cross was converted by Aaron Kennedy who also struck over two penalties to make up Bann’s interval tally. But all the Ulster champions could muster after the break was a Macauley Little drop goal as they ran out of steam against the Leinster kingpins.

“We may be out of that competition but we’re still in the running for the Ulster Cup and Nutty Krust Trophy so there’s plenty to play for before the end of the season,” concluded Kirkwood confidently.

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