“We had plenty of chances” | Mark Fitzgerald laments missed opportunities as Limerick are relegated

It was a first game in charge for Fitzgerald, with Ray Dempsey stepping down from the role just over a week out from their penultimate league game.

Limerick’s short stint in the third tier of the league was brought to an end by Kildare on Sunday afternoon with the Lilywhites putting the final coffin in the Shannonsider’s relegation with the 3-10 to 2-7 result.

Six successive games without a win and just a solitary point to show for their efforts, Limerick will finish in the bottom two regardless of the outcome this Sunday in Ennis.

Clare will join them in the third tier for 2024 with the result also ensuring their relegation with both facing into a last round dead rubber.

A late goal put a gloss on the result for Kildare who were made to work for their win with Limerick guilty of missing several goal chances in the second half as new manager Mark Fitzgerald alluded to in the wake of the defeat.

“Obviously I’m disappointed for for the lads that we didn’t take it the last day you know which is something we hoped for over the last week or so but look we had plenty chances and we just probably didn’t take them in the end.

“We prepared well you know it looked like the lads were tuned in and up for it but we just didn’t seem to get to the pace of it. It’s hard to put your put your finger on it but to be fair to the lads, they put a valiant effort in the second half and just came up short.

“They’ve done it all year, there hasn’t been too many games where you say that we didn’t try our damnedest. Look there a brilliant bunch of lads and you saw there the effort towards the end. They can play at this level, it’s just mistakes are killing us at the moment and have done so for the year.”

It was a first game in charge for Fitzgerald, with Ray Dempsey stepping down from the role just over a week out from their penultimate league game of the campaign.

But the Kerry native insisted that the turbulence in the camp had little bearing on Sunday’s result.

“It was over and dealt with you know and look what’s in the past is in the past. As I said we prepared well this week and we had a little bit of homework done on Kildare but you know for whatever reason we just made too many unforced errors and that ultimately hurt us.”

19 March 2023; Limerick manager Mark Fitzgerald during the Allianz Football League Division 2 match between Limerick and Kildare at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Fitzgerald also provided an update on joint-captain Iain Corbett who was forced off against Meath and missed the tie at the weekend.

“I don’t think he (Corbety) will be back next week but it’s looking like he will be back for the championship. Obviously, Ian is a huge huge leader of of the lads and a brilliant player and look we’ll need everyone.”

Fitzgerald and co will be in Cusack Park this Sunday, looking to get a first win of the campaign ahead of their Munster Championship campaign which kicks off on Saturday, May 22 where they await the winners of Cork and Clare in the semi-finals.

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