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Bonnar wants Fitzgibbon final replay delayed - 'They're wrecked now, absolutely wrecked'

The teams finished level in a pulsating finale at the Gaelic Grounds last night.

WIT's Ger Teehan and UL's Cathal McInerney faced off last night.
WIT's Ger Teehan and UL's Cathal McInerney faced off last night.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

WATERFORD IT BOSS Colm Bonnar has called for the Fitzgibbon Cup final replay to be deferred until Wednesday 11 March with his players ‘absolutely wrecked’ after a hectic recent schedule.

The decider between WIT and UL finished level after extra-time last night in the Gaelic Grounds and the novel situation of a replay now arises.

With inter-county league games scheduled for every weekend in March, a Wednesday night fixture is the likeliest date. The Gaelic Grounds could be used as a venue again but Mallow or Thurles may also come into the mix.

Third-level GAA chiefs will meet tomorrow night to decide on a replay date but Bonnar has pleaded that the game not be played this Wednesday, 4 March.

“It’ll probably be midweek alright with the inter-county coming again next week. I don’t think the inter-county teams would allow their players (not) to (play). They’re wrecked now, absolutely wrecked to be honest.

“I even think talking about next Wednesday, it’d be too soon for them. They need to go out and get a full week’s rest and recover the bodies. The likes of (Pauric) Mahony, he’s four top-class games played (in a week), two extra-times which is nearly another game in itself. It’s like five games so you couldn’t ask him to play next Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m hoping they’ll make the correct decision and put it a week and a half away.”

Colm Bonner WIT manager Colm Bonnar. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Bonnar would have liked to have seen additional periods of extra-time played to finish out the game, just as what happened in 2008 when Waterford IT defeated Limerick IT.

“For the sake of ten minutes, we could have finished out the competition. I think both teams would have rather it finished out tonight. There’s huge preparation. We’re down here since Thursday night getting ready for it. It’s Saturday and we still haven’t gone home yet. There’s a big cost on a college too. You put so much into it, I think both teams would rather have it seen out. We’re grateful to be still in it.”

Brian Lohan UL manager Brian Lohan. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

UL boss Brian Lohan had initially thought that there was more extra-time on the way after 80 minutes.

“I thought (there) was yeah, just from reading the ‘Clár An Lae’. But that was for reading the semi-finals, I think the final goes to a replay.

I suppose the nature of the competition is that it’s usually over in the weekend. I don’t know is it ever gone to a replay before. We’ll just have to do what is prescribed. Conditions were a lottery. Very small margin between victory and defeat and it ended up a draw, so we just go away and come back again.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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