The Navan RFC Under-11 rugby team emerged from the 2010 Community Games at the weekend as All-Ireland Champions once again. The team had progressed to the final with some pretty impressive victories in Leinster but they saved the best for the final stages of the competition.
In Saturday's semi-final they comfortably defeated the Ulster Champions from Monaghan by seven tries to two, setting up a final showdown with Kilmallock from Limerick. Kilmallock looked impressive in the other semi, defeating the Connacht champions from Ballinasloe with a powerful performance from the forwards who displayed some excellent rucking skills.
It was a settled and confident Navan team that took to the field on Sunday. The defending champions applied all the early pressure and were rewarded when they scored the opening try. Kilmallock were not about to lie down and they responded immediately to tie the game. Navan chose this moment to up the tempo and when the first half finished the Meath men were three tries to one ahead.
Kilmallock rallied in the second half and pegged Navan back to three tries to two, but this was to be their last score as Navan produced a stunning second-half display, scoring a further three tries and treating their supporters to a truly wonderful display of rugby.
Kilmallock were physically larger than Navan, but the level and commitment with which Navan played proved no match for them. When the final whistle blew, every player on the Navan team were fully deserving of victory and the coveted All-Ireland gold medal.
What was more remarkable was that four of the players were emulating their fathers who had won this competition for Navan in 1976, 1977 and 1979.