Opposing managers of the two teams involved in Sunday’s Clare SFC Final feel a half-time altercation between both sets of players could have easily been avoided.
Following the €2.3m redevelopment at Cusack Park, teams have been able to access the pitch via the upgraded dressing rooms. However in an attempt to control the amount of representatives from either club on the sideline each team had to enter via the main tunnel where club officials and mentors presented passes to steward.
At half-time both dressing room doors were locked which meant Cratloe and Kilmurry Ibrickane had to get to the changing rooms by going through the tunnel. It must be noted that before any player had reached the tunnel tensions were running high.
As either team made their way in off the pitch at half-time altercations erupted between the teams which resulted in punches being thrown and jerseys being ripped. On the resumption referee Rory Hickey penalised John Galvin and Mark McCarthy for their involvement by showing them a yellow card while Kilmurry Ibrickane substitute, John Sexton who didn’t feature in the opening half was given a red card for his part in the brawl.
Discussing the incident and the locked dressing room doors, Cratloe manager Colm Collins said. “Totally unnecessary, both of them locked, I’m not getting into it but it needn’t have happened”.
His Kilmurry Ibrickane counterpart Aidan Moloney commented “That seems to be a policy that we had to enter by the gates and not by the dressing room, they want to stop obviously a certain amount getting onto the field so they can control the gate, it’s probably something that needs to be looked at, it was an ugly enough incident. These things happen when people come together, heat of the battle”.