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Defiant Davy Fitzgerald fires off broadside at critics after Galway loss

By John Campbell

A week during which he underwent minor heart surgery finished on a disappointing note for Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald when he watched his side fall to Galway by 2-17 to 0-17 in yesterday's All-Ireland quarter-final at Semple Stadium, Thurles.

Fitzgerald may have his health problems but that did not stop him firing a broadside at those who questioned his team's character.

"I'm so proud of my guys. They fight unreal. Anyone who gives out about them is talking through their behind. It wasn't our best day, though," he rapped defiantly.

"It was a tough week for me personally and I'd like to thank everyone."

Joe Canning scored 1-8 for Galway while David Burke was inspirational at midfield with Aidan Harte dovetailing between sweeper and attacking ace.

Colm Galvin's five points helped to sustain Clare's momentum while Colm Ryan and David McInerney also made solid contributions to their team's performance.

In yesterday's other quarter-final, Waterford were never extended in disposing of the challenge of a Wexford side that never really found their rhythm.

Derek McGrath's side led by 0-12 to 0-5 at the break by which time Pauric Mahoney had gone half-way to amassing his personal total of eight points.

Waterford will now meet reigning champions Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-finals but will need to improve further on yesterday's performance if they are to trouble Brian Cody's side.

Fermanagh were forced to swallow the bitter pill of defeat when they fell to a lively Donegal side by 3-7 to 1-2 in the All-Ireland Under 21 'C' hurling championship final at Healy Park, Omagh.

On a day when little went right for the Ernesiders, they were left to reflect on defensive deficiencies that allowed Donegal to stockpile three goals within a six minute spell in the second-half that cemented their dominance.

Donegal led by 0-5 to 1-1 at half-time, Conor Goodwin's goal highlighting a spirited first-half display from the Erne men.

But a triple goal bonanza between the 40th and 46th minutes saw the pendulum swing decisively in Donegal's favour with Fermanagh restricted to just one point after the break.

Sam Doherty landed two of Donegal's goals one of which came from a penalty while Paul Nelson helped himself to 1-2 and Aaron McCauley contributed a brace of points.

Goodwin's goal was complemented by points from Conor McShea and Ciaran Corrigan as Fermanagh's discipline disintegrated in the closing stages when Matthew McGrade and Corrigan were along with Donegal's Conor Griffin.

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