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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020

Kilkenny camogie boss Downey steps down after third All-Ireland final loss in-a-row

‘Her dedication to her county has been second to none,’ a statement reads of the Cats’ 2016 All-Ireland winning manager.

Ann Downey watches on during yesterday's All-Ireland senior camogie final.
Ann Downey watches on during yesterday's All-Ireland senior camogie final.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

2016 ALL-IRELAND WINNING boss Ann Downey has stepped down from her role as Kilkenny camogie manager following yesterday’s decider defeat to Galway. 

The Leinster county have confirmed that Downey made the announcement to her team in the Croke Park dressing room yesterday, and followed that up with a few words to everyone at the post-match banquet last night.

The Lisdowney club woman, synonymous with Kilkenny Camogie after winning 12 All-Ireland senior medals as a player, has been at the helm for four seasons, and steered the side to O’Duffy Cup glory in her first year in charge.

In doing so, Kilkenny ended a 22-year wait for the silver — their last title lift before that came in 1994 when Downey herself was captain.

In 2017 and 2018, she again led the Cats back to HQ for the showpiece but they fell agonisingly short to Cork on both occasions, while yesterday, Galway broke their hearts yet again as they ran out six-point winners.

Through her tenure, Downey also delivered three Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 titles in-a-row, and three Leinster titles. Incredibly, she’s been involved in all 13 of the county’s All-Ireland title wins.

A statement from chairperson Sheila Norris, in full, reads:

ann-downey-celebrates-after-the-game Downey with the O'Duffy Cup in 2016. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“Ann Downey has decided to step down from her managerial role with the Kilkenny senior camogie team.

“Having done a two year stint from 2008-2009 and reaching the All Ireland in 2009, she again took over the reins in 2016, bringing the team to claim their first All Ireland in twenty two years in her first year in charge.

“Three in a row National League Division 1 titles were secured  in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as well as reaching the All-Ireland final in each of those years and indeed in 2019. We also won three Leinster titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She received the accolade of Manager of The Year in 2016.

“All this was on top of a stellar playing career, during which she won twelve All Ireland medals.

Kilkenny Camogie is very grateful to Ann for the time and commitment she has given to camogie over the last four years. Her dedication to her sport and to her county has been second to none and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

Downey was gracious in defeat yesterday, praising Cathal Murray’s Tribe for their performance afterwards, and backing her side to bounce back and go again.

“They’ve been here so many times and come back and come back but it’ll be a long winter,” she said.

“We’ll reassess, sit down and see what everyone wants to do. They’ll go back to their clubs and we’ll be there for them and support them to try and get over today.”

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