KILKENNY manager Ollie Walsh pulled no punches when it came to offering a post-match verdict following Sunday’s 1-4 loss to Wexford.
“Silly mistakes cost us that game,” he said. “Three crosses led to three goals for Wexford - at this level that’s not good enough.”
“From our point of view the two goals they scored in the first half were soft,” he said. “The first came after three Wexford players ran off their markers from a corner kick.
“You can’t do that at this level,” Walsh added. “That’s the difference when you step up to inter-league - switch off and you’ll get found out.”
Losing by three goals meant there was little in the way of positives for Walsh, but he had strong praise for the young players who were drafted in for the clash.
“I felt the young lads did well,” he said. “Conor (English) took his goal well when he got the chance. Dean (Cornally) was good on the ball when he went in to midfield before half-time while Emmet (Nugent) did well in the second half.
“I didn’t think there was any player who didn’t try their best,” he added. “At the minute, the fact is that we’re just not good enough.”
Wexford, on the other hand, purred through the game. The side is experienced at inter-league level, something you could see from kick-off.
“They are an experienced outfit,” Walsh agreed. “That team is young, but the nucleus of the side has been together for a few seasons (five members of that Wexford side won the Oscar Traynor Trophy in 2010). You could see the difference it made.
“In fairness, our lads battled back into the game but the third goal was the killer,” he said. “Wexford’s goals came about through little things, but at this level that’s what will catch you. However, you have to give the young lads the experience they can learn from.
“They have to learn - and learn quick - at this level, but to do that you have to get them into training,” he added. “It’s hard to do that, especially when the interest isn’t there, but the lads who did play battled well. They could have hung their heads but they got themselves back into the game well, scoring a good goal.
“It was the start of a good spell of pressure for us, but we couldn’t get the break,” he added. “It would have been interesting had we scored a second goal as I felt that Wexford were out on their feet in the final quarter. We couldn’t make the breakthrough, while losing Eddie Clifford to injury after we had made the three substitutions killed us altogether.”
Kilkenny have one game left to play, away to Waterford, where Walsh is hoping a result could lead to better things.
“A good result in Waterford might change how people feel about the competition - lads might get a bit of interest back again, but we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “However, if you are to have any chance of success you have to have to go with your best players. When they’re not interested, unfortunately there’s nothing you can do.”