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'We're not going to torture our players' - Clare hurlers unhappy but Cork match to go ahead

The Banner have 13 players involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action tomorrow.

Donal Moloney, Gerry O'Connor and Donal Og Cusack The Clare management and players after yesterday's game. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Updated 16.22pm

THE NEW CLARE management team of Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor may have signalled that they would be unable to field a team but it’s been confirmed that Wednesday evening’s Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League game against Cork in Sixmilebridge will go ahead.

With 13 panel members involved in the round one of the Fitzgibbon Cup tomorrow, joint boss Moloney argued after yesterday’s win over Waterford that the midweek fixture places too much strain on the Banner squad.

Clare are already without several established players for pre-season due to Ballyea’s All-Ireland club involvement, injury recovery and travelling.

“We have stated from the start that we cannot play on Wednesday night.

“We have a whole lot of Fitzgibbon players so we cannot ask these players to play three senior games in one week, then play Fitzgibbon and then play a fourth senior game against Cork.

“We’re not doing it. We might be forced into it but that’s where we’re at right now. We cannot ask some players to play five games in ten days.

“If the fixture isn’t changed, we’ll have to fight it. We’re not going to torture our players.”

Billy Nolan shoots under pressure from Patrick Kelly Waterford's Billy Nolan shoots under pressure from Clare goalkeeper Patrick Kelly. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

A 2-19 to 3-13 win over Waterford at Fraher Field yesterday kept them in contention for a final spot heading into the last round but Moloney conceded that may have to offer a walkover to the Rebels.

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O’Connor concurred that they will struggle to cope with the fixture pile-up.

!The reality for us is that we’re looking at a panel of 27 players. We’ve used those as best and as efficiently as we can for the last three games.

“As Donal said, if 13 of those guys are playing Fitzgibbon, in a full blooded championship match on Tuesday, it will be very difficult for us to put out a meaningful team on Wednesday night.”

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