Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald believes his team should have taken victory at the end of the regulation 70 minutes in the Leinster semi-final.Fitzgerald said Wexford were the better team across the 70 minutes, rueing the one or two little things that went against us.One of those was the decision of referee Fergal Horgan to award a free against Wexford sub Jack OConnor on 58 minutes, a free which Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy converted from well inside his own half to tie matters at 0-21 apiece.
Fitzgerald was adamant the free should have gone to Wexford, not Kilkenny.
I feel we were the better team in the 70 minutes, that’s my honest opinion. I think one or two little things went against us. But you have to say fair play to Kilkenny, they’ll never give in, they’ll stay with you all the time. Total respect for that. But I honestly believe we were the better team in the 70 minutes, Fitzgerald began.
I thought a big turning point was Jack O’Connor’s free. I 100% believe that was a free to Wexford. Eoin Murphy gets it and puts it over the bar. So instead of us being two points up, it was a two-point swing.
In saying that, you have to respect the game of hurling. It was a massive game of hurling. But Kilkenny aren’t better than us. It is right there, thereabouts. We know we are every bit as good as them. I think that showed today. 
When asked to elaborate on other incidents that irked him, Fitzgerald replied: The last thing we should do today is think about that. Naturally, I am a bit hurt. And I do feel it is hard to take that because we had it right there, and you are hurting.
But I am sure if Kilkenny went through it, they’d pick one or two themselves. That is just how I feel. It is so hard to take a loss like that. I feel so sorry for my guys. Eight points wasn’t the margin, everybody knows that. We were just gone at the end. 
Mainly, Fitzgerald was proud of his troops after an epic contest.
“I dont think there was a dirty stroke in it. I think it was very madly stuff out there, it was hard hitting and it’s so hard to take a loss like that. I feel so sorry for my guys.
“Its absolutely gut-wrenching from our point of view.
“If you come off a game and you get 110 percent off your players, I couldnt ask another thing off them. They gave me everything we had. It hurts a lot.
“We knew the league was nothing, we knew today was everything and we thought we were ready for it.
“I could see James McGarrys reaction when they got the second goal. He nearly jumped out of the stand and came down to tell me about it. So it must have meant a lot to them which is great. And fair play to him, I’m glad to see his enthusiasm is so big, but I wont forget it. Well keep it stored so we will.”
Fitzgerald also called on the Government to allow greater numbers of spectators to attend inter-county games in the weeks ahead. Todays Leinster SHC double-header – watched by a crowd of 8,000 – boasted the largest attendance at a GAA fixture since March of 2020.
The size of Croke Park is more than able to cope for 8,000 safely. Out in the open, we all know transmission won’t happen too freely. We need to really have a look at [crowd sizes].
I would urge the Government to let people out and about in the fresh air. I think Croke Park can do it, I think other stadiums can do it. Even the people there today, they were on the edge of their seats.
My own personal view is I’d love to see it open up a small bit. I don’t think we’ll get back anything full for a while, but we could maybe go a small bit more. The GAA isn’t anything without the supporter. We need the supporter there. The difference between last year’s championship and what we played out there, it is massive.”