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'I don't know if it has hit home yet' | Kilkenny's Dowling after All-Ireland win

Stephen Kisbey-Green
Stephen Kisbey-Green

22:08 12 Dec 2020

Kilkenny camogie manager Brian Dowling was ecstatic to have won the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship after his side beat Galway in the final.

In a turnaround from last year’s final, Kilkenny beat Galway 1-14 to 1-11 to secure the O’Duffy cup.

Speaking to OTB Sport’s Valerie Wheeler after the game, Dowling could not hide his delight at his side’s performance.

“It is unbelievable, and I don’t know if it has hit home yet,” Dowling said.

“I am just so happy for those girls out there. A lot of people were looking in from the outside maybe, and we just haven’t got in for the last couple of years; to finally do it now is unbelievable.

“I wasn’t there the two years before [last year] and going back to the red cow hotel last year was just heart-breaking.

“I just said there is no way we can feel that again, and we are just absolutely over the moon now to be All-Ireland champions.

“We have all put so much into this, you just give up your whole life, but in moments like this, it is all worth it.”

Grace Walsh Kilkenny Champions Kilkenny players Denise Gaule, left, and Grace Walsh celebrate after the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final match between Galway and Kilkenny at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kilkenny bounced back from consecutive losses

The Cats have played in every final for the last five years, however their last victory came in 2016.

“When you lose three finals in a row it feels like a lifetime,” Dowling said. “It feels like you are never going to get there.

“Some girls were doubting whether they would come back this year and to be honest I wouldn’t blame them. You can’t guarantee that you are going to help them get over the line.

“I am just so grateful that Ann Downey asked me in here two years ago. Something told me that I had to get involved with these girls.

Although they have won the O’Duffy cup, COVID-19 restrictions mean that Kilkenny will have to leave their prize behind for the time being.

“It is strange that we have to leave it here,” Dowling said. “A few people texted me there today and yesterday saying, ‘make sure to bring the cup home’, and I said we can’t bring it home!

“We will get the O’Duffy home at some stage and we will have a right celebration.”

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All-Ireland Camogie All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final All Ireland Camogie Championship Brian Dowling Galway Kilkenny

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