Davy Fitzgerald: We have to learn how to close out the first half

He says will be better for the experience of playing at Croke Park for the first time

BY Simon Maguire 19:43 Sunday 2 July 2017, 19:43 2 Jul 2017

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald. Image: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Galway won the Leinster Hurling Championship with a 0-29 to 1-17 win over Wexford at Croke Park on Sunday

Remarkably, it was this Wexford team's first appearance ever at GAA headquarters and they gave it their all in front of roughly 60,000 fans.

Speaking to Off the Ball's Dave McIntyre after the match and asked where he thought his side lost the match, Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald said: "I think the patch before half-time, the five to seven minutes before half time. I honestly believe we were right there with 27 minutes gone - we were a point up or we were level.

"We just gave them two or three easy scores. They got two or three soft frees coming into the end of it and that was a bit of a downer to us, going in at half-time having played so well and being down by three points. 

"And then I thought that, with the big goal and a point we missed after half-time was harsh.

"We have to learn that the last few minutes, them last seven or eight minutes before half-time, we have to close them out and we should have kicked on instead of inviting them on to us. 

Wexford's Diarmuid O’Keefe and Galway’s Daithi Burke. Image: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

"I thought the Galway forwards went right out the field today. They let a lot of space inside. They didn't threaten a goal but they did have a lot of space to be able to shoot points. I was trying to get my forwards out the field more in the second half to meet them out there but it just didn't happen," he said.    

Given that it was his side's first taste of Croke Park, Fitzgerald believes his side will be the better for having the experience.

"That's the first time we've played in front of 60,000 people, that's amazing so it is. I thought we kept fighting until the end. We kept trying to do the right things and go at it like so, playing in a few Leinster finals as Galway have is a big plus...there will be better days ahead," he said. 

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