Lisbellaw Manager David Teague felt his side were well placed at half time to push on and win the Ulster title, but for whatever reason they failed to find their top form after the break as Banagher came away five-point victors.

With the sides level at half time it was all to play for in the second half, but it was the Derry side who were to get the upper hand and drive on for the victory.

“We went in at half time like all our other games – it was a draw, but we probably hadn’t performed.

“We had 15 minutes of savage hurling in the first half, but other than that we hadn’t, so we were really confident that we were in a good place at half time, but it is just one of those things – we came out in the second half and it just didn’t happen for us.

“The pitch here was difficult, with puddles on it, and it probably suited a big, physical side like Banagher but that is no excuse from us.

“We were confident coming here that we would win it and, as I say, it is one of those days, and we will just have to learn from it for next year,” said Teague.

Lisbellaw had enjoyed a great spell in the second quarter as they hit four points in a row to go three ahead, but Banagher were boosted by a Brian Og McGilligan goal on the stroke of half time to go in level at the interval.

Teague though did not feel that goal had too much of a bearing on the contest.

“We said at the start of the game that we were aiming for a draw at least at half time, and we got what we wanted from the first half, so I don’t think that goal was all that crucial.

‘It didn’t click for us’

“I just think that in the second half it didn’t click for us, and we’ll watch it back and see why that was,” he added.

The fact though that Banagher twice found the net while Lisbellaw didn’t raise a green flag despite a couple of goal chances ultimately was the difference, although Teague accepted that the better side won on the day.

“The Banagher Manager was saying to me there that us missing our goal chances, and them taking theirs, was probably the winning and the losing of the game.

“I felt though that they were probably the deserving winners over the 60 minutes, and it is up to us to get to that level to win Ulster,” he commented.

And he has full belief that this current group of players are more than good enough to go on and win an Ulster title in the coming years, especially with the squad having been strengthened by the addition of a number of talented players who have come through the youth ranks at the club.

“In fairness to our underage coaches, it seems to happen every year that we are getting two or three lads coming through, and I know there will be lads there today who weren’t happy about not getting on, and rightly so, but there is unreal competition for places now with these young lads coming through, and if that conveyor belt keeps coming then there will be an Ulster title in us.

“We have had great numbers at training and as long as we get back at it next year like we did this year, then we will be there or thereabouts again,” he concluded.