Disillusioned Fitzgerald's dismay at Clare failure
A despondent Davy Fitzgerald refused to confirm whether he would remain in charge of the Clare hurlers after they were sensationally knocked out of the All-Ireland championship yesterday evening.
The defending champions were taken to extra-time by Wexford for the second game in succession but this time there was to be no reprieve for the Banner men, who went down 2-25 to 2-22 in a thrilling encounter at Wexford Park.
Clare had been reduced to 13 men in normal time after Brendan Bugler and Jack Brown both saw red but Wexford let them off the hook with poor shooting to give Colin Ryan a chance to send the game to extra-time for the second week running with a last-ditch ‘65’.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, a clearly emotional Fitzgerald alluded to issues in Clare that would have to be clarified before he could decide to see out the remainder of his term.
“We will see what my story is,” he said. “I was given another three years and to say I’m disappointed with certain things is putting it very mildly. That is something I’m not going to talk here about. If we have a little bit of homework to do, we will do it in our own county and there is a small bit to be done. We will see what the story is but I am a bit disillusioned with everything, even things in my own county.”
As his voice crackled with emotion the former Clare goalkeeper admitted that it would be difficult to walk away from a group of players with whom he shares a close bond.
“I absolutely love the bones of those players. I am so proud of them. What team would hold on like that? It is incredible that they did what they did with 13 players. My own thing? We will see what happens. It’s very hard and I suppose there are lies that have been told even in the last week and I’m not happy with that. Whatever else I am, I don’t tell lies.”
Wexford manager Liam Dunne was understandably delighted. “It was fabulous for the people of Wexford. It’s great to be still in the championship,” he said. “I have to give our fellas huge credit. We’re creating the chances, we’re a team in progress and we’re doing our best.”
Wexford advance to play Waterford next weekend, while Tipperary’s victory over Offaly in Portlaoise last night means Eamon O’Shea’s team continue their rehabilitation and advance to the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
In football, Tipperaryalso continued their progress with an impressive win over Laois. Tipperary have shown in recent weeks that their showing against Cork in the Munster football semi-final was far from a once-off, and although they wobbled for a few minutes late in the second half in Portlaoise, they stil had five points to spare in a 3-17 to 4-9 win. Conor Sweeney contributed 2-3 to the victory.
Elsewhere, Cavan’s stuttering season crashed to a halt in Kingspan Breffni Park as Roscommon ran out easy 0-16 to 0-5 winners.
The home side looked in trouble when they in at half-time one point down having played with the win and they were blown away in the third quarter.
The day’s other football qualifier saw Sligo record a two-point win over Limerick on home soil.
Sunday Indo Sport