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Banner boss Davy upset with ref

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Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

CLARE boss Davy Fitzgerald aimed a thinly-veiled swipe at referee Barry Kelly following yesterday's Munster SHC semi-final defeat to Cork at Limerick's Gaelic Grounds.

Fitzgerald watched his side fall to an eight-point loss against the fired-up Rebels, who set up a provincial final showdown with Limerick on July 14.

Cork, who were relegated by Clare from Division 1A of the National League in April, scored their first victory in four outings against the Banner men.

And they did it in style – despite lining out without injured trio Paudie O'Sullivan, Lorcán McLoughlin and Pa Cronin.

Séamus Harnedy was sensational on his championship debut and captain Cronin came off the bench to score a second half point.

Cork had scoring contributions from ten players and All Star goalkeeper Anthony Nash was sensational between the sticks.

Nash pulled off some vital saves and the Kanturk man drilled over two frees for good measure.

Clare had won their first match in the Munster SHC since 2008 when they beat Waterford in the quarter-final, but a highly-rated side couldn't match Cork in the physical stakes.

But Fitzgerald was unhappy with the challenge that led to John Conlon coming off concussed in the 20th minute. And he also highlighted a free count that favoured Cork 19-7.

Fitzgerald revealed: "He (Conlon) is in hospital – he's in a bad way now. The doc was very worried about him at half-time, his blood pressure was up unreal.

"Would you not think safety of players is the most important thing that's out there, no matter what?

"Winning and losing games ... we'll hurt for a day or two and we'll get over it but my God, it was brushed under the carpet and it was plain for everybody to see that he was in trouble."

 

Devastating

Fitzgerald added: "If you say anything you're going to be accused of not taking a beating so I'm going to leave it but I won't be leaving it when I get a chance to correct it properly with the people that matter.

"I'll be talking to someone because I'm not happy with a certain amount of things. I'm not going to criticise anyone or say anything bad about anyone. I'll deal with that myself in my own private manner."

Cork, playing against the breeze from the start, trailed by 0-7 to 0-11 approaching half-time, before Nash banged over the final score of the first half.

And the Leesiders opened the second half in devastating fashion with eight scores on the bounce to complete a run of nine without reply.

It was a run that sent them through to a date with Limerick, in what will be the first Munster final between the counties since 1992.

Clare will discover their qualifier opponents this morning, when the draw is revealed.

Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy said: "Well there is a lot made about fitness and all of this but we really had geared ourselves this year towards today.

"Last year we were super fit and there's a huge emphasis among people in the media and people locally about the fitness and the strength and conditioning and I think it is a load of rubbish to be honest with you.

"Dave Matthews, the same as he did last year, has done a great job with the players and Ger Cunningham has done a great job with the coaching of the team and I think in fairness there is great credit due to them all."


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