All good things must come to an end, as Cork found out in losing to Dublin at Croke Park.

Before this game the Rebels had a perfect eleven-out-of-eleven record in All-Ireland finals.

Remarkably, they had never dropped a decision on the big day at Headquarters and they’d never lost to Dubs in Championship either.

Those records have a line drawn under them now though following their 3-11 to 1-12 defeat to the Girls in Blue following an intense, tight final.

"We came up here to win," said manager Ephie Fitzgerald, who guided Cork back into a final after missing out on the big day last year as the Dubs won the Brendan Martin Cup by beating Mayo. 

"We go into every game to do the level best we can. Early on, in the first half particularly, we didn’t stick to our game plan in the sense that we were maybe a little bit nervous and it was a big occasion. You can get lost in things at Croke Park.

"But having said all of that I'm immensely proud of the girls. They worked their socks off, they went to the finish. On another day maybe things could have gone our way. But over the years Cork have come out on the right side of tight results.

"Today was maybe a little bit different," said Fitzgerald, speaking to RTÉ Sport.

"I don’t think anybody could have dealt with the change that we have had over the last couple of years, and be back in the final again. But there is no doubt we will be back.

"It may be a learning experience for the girls and we have made huge progress this year. We will be expecting to make more going forward."

Ciara O'Sullivan under pressure from Martha Byrne

This is her eleventh season in a Rebel jersey and during that time she has racked up eight All-Ireland medals.

She said: "It’s the worst place you can be losing an All-Ireland. But we gave it our all right up until the last minute. The girls fought really hard. It’s a horrible place to be. 

"It’s not a nice place to be but you can’t fault any of the players or management for effort throughout the year. It’s a young team so I would like to think we will be back.

"I don’t think anyone gave us any chance which, for people who trained so hard all year was quite hurtful and a bit disrespectful beforehand. We gave a good account of ourselves. We were beaten by the better team on the day so we can’t have any complaints."