The minds said yes but the bodies said no. That was Liam Dunne’s assessment of where Wexford fell down after their mammoth month of July.
Fatigue, he acknowledged, played its fair part in the demise of his team as they found themselves struggling to do even the most basic things as early as the opening 20 minutes.
“You don’t have to be a genius to look at a hurling match and see fellas out on their feet even in the first 35 minutes and not able to get where they wanted to get.
“In fairness to Limerick, they brought the intensity and we weren’t able to match it. We were always playing second fiddle but you can’t take anything away from Limerick, they were outstanding today and are in an All-Ireland semi-final now.
“We’ll regroup and we’ll have them in Wexford Park in the National League next year and we’ll see where that will take us.”
Nothing Dunne had seen during the week in training had indicated to him that his players would be so flat when it came to the game.
Although, with the benefit of hindsight he remarked: “The epic game against Clare probably took its toll. We felt coming up today that we were in with a chance of winning the game but it didn’t happen.”
He believes Wexford will, in the long run, take more from yesterday’s thrashing than their victory over Waterford eight days’ previous.
“It’s a stepping stone for our fellas and we’ll learn a lot from this. We might even learn more from today than we did last week. But every day is different and it’s tough going on those fellas in there.
“They are not on €250,000 a week or anything but the effort I got from these guys was fantastic. There are a lot of positives, more so than negatives, to come out of the year. We’ll regroup and we’ll come again.”
Wexford still have plenty to play for this year with a lot of Dunne’s side lining out for JJ Doyle’s U21s in an All-Ireland semi-final next month.
In the meantime, Dunne can look back on a campaign in which Wexford rediscovered what it was like to win.
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