The Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald refused to be drawn on explosive revelations by one of his players about the team's disciplinary procedures after Clare chalked up their first league win in Ennis yesterday.
In a thrilling match with Dublin they overcame the loss of Brendan Bugler to a red card shortly before half-time to win by 2-22 to 2-20.
The result leaves them heading to Kilkenny next weekend where they have a chance of making the quarter-finals provided they can win there.
Twice in yesterday's match Dublin led by six points but Tony Kelly helped lead the comeback, finishing with 1-9, and Conor McGrath scored five points from play.
But a morning newspaper story had overshadowed the fixture, with Davy O'Halloran revealing why he had chosen to leave the panel when faced with various disciplinary measures that involved him being alienated from the rest of the squad. Nicky O'Connell also left the panel after choosing not to undergo the disciplinary requirements which O'Halloran said included not using the team dressing room and training in a separate section of the pitch for a three-week period.
But his manager played down the drama. "Not at all, no reaction," he said. "In Clare we do things properly, there is a code of discipline and that's it and we'll just drive on. The lads have been great, absolutely fantastic.
"I suppose ye guys and others have to write stories and there is nothing I can do about it. As I said to the lads, we don't need to listen to stuff or do whatever, we just concentrate on our own thing, we are an honest team so we are, we still have stuff to improve on from today and we will. The only panic that was out there was guys that want to create it."
Fitzgerald denied there was a double-standard, as O'Halloran claimed when saying that another unnamed player had escaped discipline for a similar breach.
He said that was "110 per cent" untrue. "People can write what they want to write, there is no problem, no hassle with that."
He was asked if he would talk to the player. "No, listen, the bottom line is - and this is the only thing I'm going to say on this - we as a management would be very fair in what we do. There is rules there, that's it. And listen, I am very, very happy that we have done everything correct and I know the players are as well, that they are very happy with that as well. The bottom line is the lads aren't bad lads, they are good lads and I wish them all the best with their clubs going forward.
"Guys, I've said now what I'm going to say and that's it. If you want to talk about today's game I'm more than delighted, I've said all I'm going to say. Ye are making the deal out of it not me."
When asked if he needed to address the issue, he replied:"I just addressed it for you there two seconds ago sir. Is there anyone else that wants to say anything."
Jamesie O'Connor, Page 11
Sunday Indo Sport
This was a critical game anyway but it took on a different emphasis after a morning newspaper report carried an account of an unsympathetic disciplinary regime within the Clare fold. Afterwards Davy Fitzgerald refused to be drawn but contested a claim that one player had received preferential treatment