McEnaney 'absolutely gutted' after defeat
It was a bitter sweet day as Wexford bid farewell to the the Leinster senior football championship title race.
But there is no room for for sentimentality and Wexford must accept the blame for their early exit and entry into the qualifiers.
While Wexford Manager Seamus McEnaney held back in his assessment of referee Fergal Kelly, one could see that he was stunned by his sides failure to overcome this initial hurdle.
Any thought of playing All-Ireland champions Dublin in Innovate Wexford Park in two weeks time quickly evaporated on the excellent sod of Netwatch Cullen Park, as Carlow emerged deserving winners, leaving Wexford shattered and where to go from now.
Wexford were fancied to this one, but the odds quickly lengthened, with the game showing the Wexford Boss they have a long way to go.
What this pathetic display served up soon saw the rewards of league promotion quickly disappear, after all the game is all about the championship. Yes, Wexford were pathetic, scoring jst 2-3 from play, with two of their main attackers, Ciaran Lyng and Ben Brosnan failing to kick a single score from play.
Carlow Manager Turlough O'Brien spoke after the game of Carlow football going in the right direction.
But that was not the response which Wexford football met from their supremo.
Manager Seamus McEnaney was left shattered.
'Shattered, absolutely gutted,' said McEnaney, but he did not respond to mentioning of referee Fergal Kelly from Longford, although one could see that it was hurting beneath the skin.
'I thought we set up well, but we didn't legislate for losing two midfielders, and the third one we put in, losing him as well. But I've said before Brendan Murphy is probably the best midfielder in the country, and he got a foothold on us.
'Losing Eoghan Nolan as well, and I don't want to talk about Fergal Kelly's performance. I've enough to worry about. But I will say the whole black card thing annoys me, and it's like there are different black cards every game you go to.
'But fair play to Carlow. I knew it would be an absolute battle. But Eoghan Nolan's second yellow? It was a tackle, Are we going to bring away the tackle? That's it. Interview over.'
You could sense the utter devastation that had befallen McEnaney. Now he must pick his charges up for the qualifiers; a huge task over the coming weeks.