Schools semi-final abandoned as player seriously injured

Nenagh Vocational School and St Fergal’s, Rathdowney, will discover today if their All-Ireland Vocational Schools senior hurling championship semi-final is to be replayed this week.

Saturday’s clash between the two sides was abandoned after St Fergal’s full-forward Shane Cleere sustained a serious injury in an off-the-ball incident. Referee Tony Carroll ended proceedings after Cleere, who was waiting for an ambulance for 40minutes, was transferred to hospital in Clonmel.

St Fergal’s sources revealed last night that the player was detained overnight and suffered suspected kidney damage.

St Fergal’s are adamant that they want the game to be replayed and incredibly, this was the second time in a week that the tie was abandoned.

Nine days ago, the Templetuohy fixture was called off because of awaterlogged pitch, with Nenagh down to 14 players and trailing at the time.

Last Saturday, Nenagh were cruising to a comfortable win as they led 3-9 to 0-6 before Cleere suffered his serious injury.

Nenagh sources have indicated that they believe they should be awarded the game, claiming that referee Carroll had informed them that the match would restart when the pitch was cleared.

In an official statement issued to Croke Park, they have also revealed that they were on the receiving end of a similar incident two years ago, but the game was still concluded. But St Fergal’s were unwilling to continue due to the serious nature of Cleere’s injury and it remains to be seen what course of action post-primary schools officials will take.

Cleere was in obvious distress before he was removed from the pitch and tensions between opposing officials and supporters threatened to bubble over as confusion and uncertainty reigned.

As people waited for the ambulance to arrive, Cleere was kept warm with foil wrapping and clothing while being attended to by three nurses who were present, including his mother.

This second abandonment throws into doubt the final of this competition, which is fixed for next Saturday at Semple Stadium.

Holders St Brigid’s of Loughrea are already safely through to the decider but still don’t know who their finalopponents will be after last Saturday’s unfortunate developments.

Croke Park chiefs will receive Carroll’s official match report this morning before deciding on a course of action but time is not on their side.


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