Carlow forced to withdraw from Murphy Cup

Carlow manager Liam Hayes was forced to pull his side out of the Tommy Murphy Cup today due to the unavailability of the majority of his first-choice squad.

The former Meath star made the decision last night as 12 of his panel are injured and four dual players have chosen to line out for the Carlow hurlers against Kerry this afternoon.

That means that Fermanagh, today's opening round opponents in Enniskillen, have been given a walkover win and are directly through to the second-tier competition's quarter-finals.

Hayes, whose stated goal for 2006 is promotion from the National League's Division 2, told RTE Radio One: "We've been in desparate trouble trying to get a full and healthy team together - I've spent the last four days on the telephone talking to the county's clubs about getting a second squad together, but we were left with little option but to withdraw.

"We came out of the championship with a horrendous injury list. The squad have gone back into the Carlow club championships and by last Tuesday, we had 12 players injured."

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