CLARE BOSS DAVY FITZGERALD was critical of Westmeath referee James McGrath following his team’s 2-23 to 2-18 Munster semi-final defeat. The All-Ireland champions paid for their ill discipline at Semple Stadium this afternoon but Fitzgerald conceded that Cork were ‘smarter than us and faster than us’.
Clare conceded 2-11 to the Rebels in frees and penalties but Fitzgerald said that points haul was only a ‘small bit’ about why his team lost. “There were other factors that I won’t go into,” he cryptically proposed in a post-match interview with RTÉ.
Addressing McGrath’s officiating performance, Fitzgerald said, “I’m not the fella in the middle giving the frees… Conor McGrath gets pulled to pieces in the middle and gets nothing for it.”
The Banner boss had no complaints about Cork being the better side on the day. “They killed us in midfield,” he reflected.
Cork boss Jimmy Barry Murphy was pleased with his team’s performance but warned ‘we’ve won nothing yet’. He said, “It doesn’t make up for the All-Ireland final [defeat]. Nothing does.”
JBM revealed goalkeeper Anthony Nash and dual goalscorer Patrick Horgan had discussed free and penalty taking in the lead-up to the semi. Horgan would step up if he was ‘feeling it’, he added. The forward certainly seemed to be feeling it as he crashed home a 20m free and a penalty.