Dublin handed Kilkenny the shock of their lives before finally losing by a point – 3-20 to 2-22 – in the Leinster SHC semifinal on Saturday, while Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald could only apologize after his team’s inept performance as they lost to Galway on a 1-27 to 0-17 scoreline.
Level after 20 minutes at Croke Park, reigning provincial champions Wexford soon lost their way as a goal conceded to Brian Concannon gave Galway all the incentive they needed to up their game.
“We were absolutely terrible,” an angry Fitzgerald told RTE afterward. “All I can say to the Wexford supporters is that I am extremely disappointed for the way we performed.
“We showed no guts, no fight, and no character. It’s extremely disappointing. Fair play to Galway, they were miles ahead of us and they wanted it more than we did. In the three and a bit years I’ve been here we’ve never thrown in the towel that easily. It’s really disappointing, myself and the boys will have to hold our hands up, we were not at it.
“We tried four different formations and two different styles of play - so many different things - but it didn’t matter. We just weren’t at the pitch. The bottom line in hurling is that if you want to win the game, you have to win the 50-50 ball and the hard battles. We didn’t do that. They blew us out of it, it’s not down to anybody else, it’s down to ourselves. For whatever reason, we were flat.
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“We had a few goal chances but we didn’t capitalize on them. In the second half, Galway were cruising and were doing what they wanted to do. I’m disappointed with the amount of fight we had. That’s not good enough.”
Kilkenny will have to improve against Galway if they are to regain the Leinster crown, a fact not lost on manager Brian Cody after their near escape against the Dubs when they led by 3-13 to 0-7 at the interval but were played off the park and the scoreboard in the second half.
“We have questions to answer, we all have obviously,” said Cody. “But like I said, the exercise was always to get to the Leinster final and we’re in it. A game under our belt is obviously hugely important because you can’t replicate what happens in a championship game. That’s what happened today.
“Fifteen points up at half-time -- we can look at that and say good performance. Obviously, we’ll look at the second half and we’ll have lots to learn from that.”