Davy Fitzgerald and John Kiely. James Crombie/INPHO

Davy Fitzgerald: 'We shouldn't be out of this championship - I am so disappointed'

Waterford lost 0-30 to 2-14 today against Limerick.

NO COMPLAINTS OVER the outcome today by Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald, recognition that they collided with a superior force in Limerick.

But there is plenty regrets that the result spells the end of their 2024 hurling road as they bowed out of the Munster qualification race.

Coughing up a late advantage to be pegged back for a draw by Tipperary, getting squeezed out in a narrow fashion last Sunday by Clare. Those days where they failed to close out the match to secure a positive result, while also being unfortunate in decisions that went against them, conspired to leave the Waterford boss deflated.

“There was no question who was the better team today.

“But I can’t say a word to the players. We shouldn’t be out of this championship and I know that myself and that’s down to us maybe and maybe a few decisions that could have gone our way.

“That’s the way it goes. 100% we should be through. If you take the three matches, I felt we were right there as regards any of them. It’s just disappointing for the lads because they’ve come on leaps and bounds, and we definitely made a lot of progress.”

Fitzgerald felt the energy levels of his team were drained as they played for the second time in eight days, whereas Limerick were that bit fresher after a fortnight break.

“We knew playing Limerick that you have to be at that full tilt, that full go, and I am just so disappointed because actually there was such a good Waterford crowd there today.

“We could hear ‘em. I tell you, that bunch are a good bunch and you’ve seen it over the last two or three days.

“I just don’t feel we did ourselves justice today. We just didn’t seem to be at that pitch today. Maybe it was just so much went into last week. We kept in that game by just staying with it.

“Two points down with 10 minutes to go, we end up being beaten by 10, I think you can see we just totally ran out of juice at the end of it.

“To be totally honest, we were back to two points. I am a small bit disappointed in Michael (Kennedy, referee). I think he gave ‘em a few easy frees that put ‘em there, but in saying that, we didn’t deserve to win it anyhow.

“Definitely on the day, Limerick were the better team and I have no qualms about that whatsoever.

“I felt most of the day, I just thought they were really at the pitch of it. I’d like to see us a small bit fresher, but there’s no point me making excuses. Limerick are going for five in a row and I’ve nothing but respect for them. Some team.”

After completing two years in charge, Fitzgerald was asked about staying on for a third season, a decision both he and the Waterford county board had said they would review after the second campaign.

“Ah all I got to do now is go home and take a breather, I’m absolutely shattered. But the one thing I’m proud of is I know that we’re right back up there in touching distance so we are, with most of them.

“The last ten minutes today isn’t a reflection of what this Waterford team has been like in the championship. I do think it’s an injustice that we’re kind out of it and I’m disappointed.

“I just feel sorry for the lads. People have said stuff during the year that this was wrong or that was wrong, there was never anything wrong in the Waterford camp. They’ve been exceptional and we both get on great together and I’ve certainly enjoyed (it), the two years I’ve had with them has been unbelievable.”

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