David Fitzgerald set to miss Clare’s Munster SHC opener against Tipperary

Referee Thomas Walsh shows a red card to Clare's David Fitzgerald at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Frank Roche

David Fitzgerald is now in real peril of missing Clare’s Munster SHC round-robin opener against Tipperary on April 23 after his one-match suspension was upheld by the Central Hearings Committee.

The All Star hurler was sent off in the closing stages of last Sunday’s Allianz League stalemate with Cork in Ennis, following an incident with Rebel defender Robert Downey.

He was subsequently reported by referee Thomas Walsh for striking with the hand “with minimal force”. The CHC has found the infraction to be proven, and Fitzgerald must now serve an automatic one-match one in the championship as the Banner have failed to qualify for the league’s knockout stages.

However, he retains the option of fighting his case before the Central Appeals Committee or beyond that to the Disputes Resolution Authority.

There was better news for Monaghan footballer Killian Lavelle, whose red card during last Sunday’s costly NFL Division 1 defeat to Tyrone has been rescinded.

Lavelle had been sent off after an off-the-ball tangle with Conor Meyler and subsequently reported for “kicking with minimal force” – but the CHC found the infraction “not proven” and so no penalty has been imposed.

That means the midfielder is available for Sunday’s must-win trip to Castlebar, where Monaghan must overcome a league final-bound Mayo to have any chance of escaping top-flight relegation.