Kilkenny senior camogie manager Ann Downey cut a heartbroken figure on the steps of Kilkenny Courthouse on Monday.
Indeed, ‘broken hearted’ was her own choice of words as rain peppered the supporters gathered around Parliament Street yesterday.
The ‘Kilkenny Kittens’ – thanks Martin Quilty – were being honoured with a civic reception carried live on KCLR in the wake of Sunday’s All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final.
While the O’Duffy Cup headed back to Cork, Kilkenny’s 25-strong panel returned to the steps of the Courthouse for the second year in succession having been pipped by a single puck of the ball in stoppage time.
“What can I say?”, began Ann Downey on the steps of Kilkenny Courthouse on Monday night.
“We’re broken hearted tonight at not being able to bring back the cup.”
“I can assure you when we left Kilkenny yesterday (Sunday) it was foremost in our minds that were were going to turn over Cork.”
“We put long hours into how we were going to set up and, I suppose, a few things didn’t go right for us.”
“What I would like to say is to thank all the supporters for turning out, for all the matches we had right through the championship and the league. They’re an incredible bunch of girls that we’ve had the privilege of working with since last December. Regardless of when we asked them to train, there was never a problem.”
“They’re a credit to their clubs and to their families and as I said, I’ve had the pleasure for the last three years of dealing with the girls and it has really been a pleasure. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t get over the line yesterday (Sunday).”
“Again, to everyone tonight who turned out in such atrocious conditions, thanks very much, and I’m sure the girls will be back next year”, concluded Downey.
For the second year in a row, Kilkenny were edged by a single point at the hands of Cork, Sunday finishing 0-14 to 0-13 to hand the Leesider’s their 28th All-Ireland title and back-to-back wins.
While the back room team may get a break, there’s no rest for the players as they return to club action this coming Saturday as senior fixtures resume across the county.