Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath says that although the days of moral victories are behind his team, he is so proud of all that they have achieved.

In what was a pulsating encounter, Waterford were defeated by Galway in the All-Ireland hurling final 0-26 to 2-17.

Speaking after the game, an emotional Derek McGrath said: "It was a hard day; there is a gut wrenching dressing room inside.

"The lads put everything in for the last four years, I’m so bitterly disappointed for them, Galway were probably marginally the better team.

"That’s the nature of it, we were hit with four points in a row at the start of the game. I’m so proud of the lads for not crumbling.

"We managed to get ourselves back into the game, almost against the head with Kevin’s goal and I think we almost settled in after that.

"Just before half-time we had a fairly strong period, overall I think it came a bit easier to Galway, so congratulations to Micheál and the lads from Galway."

Galway were the more experienced side going into the game, having lost two All-Ireland finals in recent years but McGrath didn't see this as an excuse for the defeat.

"I’d love to point it to a lack of big game experience but I think the freshness that can come with being in a final is an advantage to you, so no real excuses, Galway were just a small bit better than us on the day."

McGrath acknowledged that it is very hard to get back to Croke Park for an All-Ireland final and as for his future, he hasn't thought about it just yet.

"I’m just in a dressing room whereby the scenes are devastation, I’ve put no thought into anything except that we were here trying to be as competitive as we could and win the All-Ireland and unfortunately we didn’t do that."