Clanna Gael Fontenoy say they have been punished "for playing it safe" after forfeiting their hurling championship campaign due to Covid-19 concerns.

The Ringsend club were due to face Ballyboden St Enda's in the Dublin Junior A quarter-finals on Sunday, but asked for the game to be delayed by a fortnight after a Ballyboden player tested positive for coronavirus.

However, the Dublin County Board said they would have to play the match or grant a walkover.

The club had hoped the Dublin CCC would hand them a reprieve, but have since learned the game will not be rescheduled.

In a statement, Clanna Gael say they felt unable to fulfil the fixture after learning the Ballyboden player tested positive on 19 August, four days before the game, and had trained fully with the squad the previous Sunday.

"Clanns' team management and players only became aware of this matter on Friday 21st – initially through a media report," the statement read.

The fixture listing on the Dublin GAA website

"Player concerns immediately arose about the implications of the positive test result and the very short timeline involved of approximately 36 hours to gather the facts and consider the risks and implications.

"A series of contacts followed immediately with Ballyboden St Endas and the Dublin County Board both to gather the facts and related information and to discuss deferring the fixture on grounds of the health and safety of players and wider public. 

"While Ballyboden were amenable to a deferral, the county board was not. Both were advised that, due to player and team management concerns, Clanns felt unable to fulfil the fixture; and formally submitted the case for deferral to the board."

Ballyboden contacted Clanna Gael last Friday to inform them of the positive test, but said the player was isolating and the HSE had decided the rest of the team were only casual contacts, therefore clearing them to play.

But a Clanna Gael player told RTÉ Sport that despite the HSE criteria, he and his team-mates were wary of playing opponents who had trained with the Ballyboden player in question within the previous 10 days.

Bernard Barron, the chairman of Clanna Gael Fontenoy, said: "Given the particular circumstances of this case, including the short time frame for consideration, our players had real and understandable concerns for their safety and health and that of their families and communities. 

"As a result, we simply sought a deferral of the fixture to a later date to allow a longer period of time to elapse after the infected player’s last point of contact with his fellow Ballyboden players.

"This would have been in line with the deferral of matches involving other Dublin clubs due to Covid-19 concerns.

"Our players daily face a level of Covid-19 related risk in the lives they lead and the work they do; and they knowingly accept a level of risk in order to continue playing the game of hurling. 

"They continuously balance their desire to play with that risk. However, their judgement, supported by the club, was that in this particular instance that level of risk should have been further ameliorated by deferring the fixture for a short period of time. 

"We believe this would have been in the interests not just of all players and team officials involved, but their wider contacts and communities.

"We very much regret that the Dublin County Board didn’t see things this way; and our players consider they’ve unfairly paid a price for playing it safe."

A Dublin SFC clash between Raheny and St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh was postponed last week when it was announced the day before the game that a Raheny player had tested positive for Covid-19.