Friday 20 September 2019

Shore awaits fate

Hurler travelling to Newcastle for appeal Saturday

Andrew Shore in action against Limerick’s David Breen during last year’s All-Ireland Senior hurling championship quarter-final
Andrew Shore in action against Limerick’s David Breen during last year’s All-Ireland Senior hurling championship quarter-final

Brendan Furlong

Wexford hurler Andrew Shore will have his appeal against a 48-week ban handed down by the Warwickshire County Board heard on Saturday next, January 24.

Shore was hit with the ban after playing for Birmingham club, Roger Casements, last October, and the length of it sent shockwaves through the G.A.A. in the Model county.

But the former Davidstown-Courtnacuddy clubman, now playing his club hurling and football with Parnells in Dublin, will travel to Newcastle to attend the hearing.

From the outset Shore was adamant that all his paperwork was in order prior to the game, and he knew nothing relating to problems until he heard official confirmation of the ban.

The player's inter-county career has been blown completely off path with the severity of the ban, which rules him out of competitive action for one year, thereby bringing an abrupt halt to his pleasing progress.

When the ban was issued, Shore immediately set about clearing his name, setting in train the appeal procedure, but the delay in having the hearing is both insensitive and unfair to the player, with almost three months having elapsed since he featured in the game.

It's also believed that had the game taken place some three hours later, Shore would have been totally in the clear. Despite that, the player is still adamant he was cleared to play and his paperwork was in order, no matter the starting time of the game.

The last thing Shore intended was to play illegally. Given his inter-county status this would have been captured quite quickly by the opposing side along with officers from across the water. But right now his playing career is at a crossroads, with the outcome of Saturday's appeal very much determining the player's future.

Shore had an outstanding championship campaign with Wexford last year, giving a superb display in the replay victory over then All-Ireland champions, Clare, in Wexford Park.

Wexford manager Liam Dunne said:' I'm just hoping someone, somewhere will allow common sense prevail'.

Meanwhile, full-forward Conor McDonald could be ruled out of the early rounds of the Allianz League.

The Naomh Eanna clubman was forced to retire midway through the second-half of U.C.D's Walsh Cup clash with his home county, Wexford. While he had ice packs applied immediately to the injury, he was still in considerable discomfort.

McDonald had an ankle x-rayed in St. Vincent's Hospital on Monday morning, after which his worst fears were realised.

Team manager Liam Dunne said: 'Conor has a chipped bone in the ankle. A plaster has been applied and he's on crutches at the moment.

'We will have him looked at by an ankle specialist to ensure he gets the professional treatment. Hopefully we will have him seen by a specialist today (Monday) or Tuesday at the latest.'

But given the nature of the injury it's almost certain that McDonald will miss the opening league game at home to Antrim on Sunday, February 15.

Wexford have a number of injury concerns as they look ahead to their Walsh Cup tie with Laois in Abbeyleix on Sunday.

Aidan Nolan (broken bone in hand) and Eanna Martin (knee) are definitely out.

But of immediate concern is the injury picked up by Conor McDonald playing with U.C.D. on Sunday when he was forced to retire in the second-half defeat to Wexford with an ankle problem.

'He is having an x-ray on the injury. It was very swollen on Sunday evening but we will be monitoring the situation closely. Hopefully he will make a quick recovery,' he said.

On the mend is attacker Rory Jacob, who is back doing light running having had a double hernia operation, while P.J. Nolan is still recovering from abdominal problems.

Wexford People