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The Cratloe footballers. Photograph by Arthur Ellis

To star in Hong Kong or Limerick?

FOUR members of Cratloe’s senior football championship winning squad are faced with an agonising dilemma – do they travel to Hong Kong with the All-Star hurling team next week or stay at home to play with their club in the Munster final.

However, that scenario may yet change as the Cratloe club has lodged a request with Munster Council for a postponement of their final meeting with holders, Dr Croke’s from Killarney.

A meeting of the council’s Competitions Control Committee on this Thursday evening will deliberate on the request.

The final is scheduled for Sunday, December 1 at The Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Podge Collins, Conor Ryan, Conor McGrath and Brendan Bugler were named on the All-Stars hurling team and they are due to travel to Hong Kong on Wednesday next where an exhibition match against the 2012 All-Stars team is scheduled.

They will return the following Wednesday, December 3, two days after the provincial club football final is due to be played.

Whitegate’s Brendan Bugler, who plays football with Cratloe, saw no game time during the Clare championship but came on as a substitute in their Munster club semi-final win over Ballinacourty of Waterford.

Conor McGrath received a straight red in that match but his dismissal is also under appeal.

It is understood that referee Derek O’Mahoney’s report has cited McGrath, Cratloe’s goal scorer on the day, “for contributing to a melee”.

Cratloe football manager, Colm Collins said Cratloe would argue that their dual star “didn’t in any way contribute to a melee”.

It’s expected that the provincial council will hear that appeal in the coming days.

“It’s a chance-in-a-lifetime trip for the boys. Players get so little from the GAA and they give so much. It’s sad that a trip like this is in direct conflict with the Munster final.

“It will be very tough on them if they have to lose out on such a trip,” Collins told The Clare Champion.

Sports Editor Seamus Hayes

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