Former Armagh star Aaron Kernan believes that his county lost the physical and psychological battle in their Ulster Championship defeat to Down.

Hopes were high for Armagh heading into the game but it was Down who raised to the occasion, ending a 25-year wait for a Championship win over their neighbours with a 0-15 to 2-7 victory at Pairc Esler.

The Orchard men stuttered throughout and although they claimed two first half goals, they failed to present an attacking threat in a disappointing second period.

Darragh O’Hanlon’s four points haul helped get the Mourne men over the line and into a last four meeting with either Cavan or Monaghan.

For Kernan it was a highly disappointing afternoon and one he had expected so much more from.

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Speaking on the RTÉ GAA podcast, he said: "It’s very disappointing for us as Armagh supporters. I had extremely high hopes heading into Newry, it’s a game I’ve been looking forward to all year.

"Even though we didn’t get promotion in Division 3, I still felt that there were definitely clear signs of improvement in the team as a whole.

"I’d felt that we would have had more of a scoring chance than Down would have and I’d hope that a few of the mistakes which led to vital goals against us during the league would have been ironed out in time.

"We didn’t concede any goals so that was a huge positive but at no stage did I feel we got going to the same sort of degree that we did during the league."

For Kernan the biggest concern was the way that Down imposed themselves physically on Armagh and he claimed that Kieran McGeeney’s side allowed themselves to be bullied.

"Down got off to a great start and were four points up but probably the biggest concern was that I felt they were bullying us," he claimed.

"They were far more physical, they looked hungrier and for Armagh, everyone looked to sitting waiting for it to happen.

"Down were hunting in packs, if they got a turnover at any stage they had two or three men in letting the Armagh men know about it.

"They’re all just small psychological things, they’re not affected the scoreboard but they’re getting their team behind them, they’re showing they’re up for it and they’re getting a bit of a buzz going.

"Everything was a bit stop-start from us, there was no fluency and that’s what will disappoint Kieran the most."