Keys coach hails team's courage in defeat
By Chris Kirwan
MUNSTER A 31 CROSS KEYS 12
BEATEN but not broken, Cross Keys head coach Greg Woods hailed his team after last night’s British and Irish Cup final defeat to Munster A in Cork.
The semi-professional club found the Irish province too strong at Musgrave Park with their hosts running in three tries and preventing them from crossing the whitewash.
It was the Pandy Park outfit’s first final in their 127-year history and Woods said he could not have asked for more from his men.
“What a journey those boys have been on in this tournament,” he said.
“They are hurting now but they will be able to look back with great pride at what they have achieved.
“They beat professional teams to get to this final but we always knew that Munster was going to be the toughest challenge and they didn’t disappoint.
“The boys came off the pitch saying that they have never had players running at them so hard and we couldn’t live with their pace.
“But I could not have asked for any more from them.
“They gave everything and there was never a chance of them rolling over.
“We didn’t get blown away and amongst it all there were some terrific performances.
“The front row of Richard Cornock, Gerwyn Price and Marc Jones was outstanding while (centre) Leon Andrews and (full-back) Gareth David were magnificent in defence and put their bodies on the line.”
Keys now patch themselves up to go again with Pontypridd with their sights on the Swalec Cup final on Monday, May 7.
Woods believes the lessons of Musgrave Park will stand them in good stead when they lock horns with Ponty at the Millennium Stadium.
“It was good to experience the tension and pressure of a final,” he said.
“That’s new territory for the boys and I know that the pain of losing will fire them up for next week’s game.
“It’s been a tremendous season, the best in the club’s history, and now we need to have one last push.”