Davy Fitzgerald has admitted that Cork were better than his Clare team in the Munster SHC semi-final but hinted that "other factors" also impacted on the match.

Clare conceded 2-11 from frees. Asked if his side's lack of discipline had held them back, Clare manager Fitzgerald said: “A small bit. I think there were other factors, which I won’t go into, but Cork were faster and better than us today but I don’t know it was lack of discipline at times."

Fitzgerald pointed out that Clare were on the wrong side of the free-count in the first half and referred to one incident in which Conor McGrath was not given a free but refused to go any further on the subject of referee James McGrath’s performance.

The former double All-Ireland-winning goalkeeper added: “I think the free count was 12-5 in the first half. I’m not the fella in the middle that blows the whistle for frees. I remember Conor McGrath being absolutely pulled to pieces on one side and not getting a free but there is no point in going on about that."

As with last year, when their campaign ended with All-Ireland glory against Cork, Clare must now go the back-door route with the Rebels going on to meet Limerick in the Munster final. Fitzgerald has no qualms about the result.

He said: “At the end of the day, Cork were the better side. They killed us in midfield, they won a lot of breaks. Fair play to them, they were very strong today.”