Ephie Fitzgerald stepped down as Cork manager in the wake of the Rebels' six-point All-Ireland semi-final defeat to champions Dublin at Croke Park.

He took a parting shot at the rules of the game and the standard of officiating in women’s football as he walked away after four years and one All-Ireland title won in the hot-seat.

"I'm certainly not happy with the officiating. Now, I can say this because I will be stepping down after this," he said directly after the game, speaking to RTÉ Sport.

"I've four years done and I think it is time for a new voice.

"But Ciara O'Sullivan was sent off there. That's the third time Maggie (Farrelly) has sent her off in three matches and she doesn't know herself what she went for. Stuff like that. The tackle needs to be defined, I think.

"That's not taking from Dublin's victory on the day. They did deserve it but I just do think that the tackle needs to be defined or the LGFA going forward are wasting their time because we don't know what a tick is, we don't know when they are being ticked, we don't know if every foul is a tick or whatever. I don't know."

Fitzgerald says that he had his mind made up that he was getting out at the end of this season, no matter how it turned out.

He took Cork to the Brendan Martin Cup in his first campaign in charge back in 2016 and since then he has overseen a period of transition, guiding them to this year’s league title.

Caoimhe O'Connor nets Dublin's first goal against Cork

"I said I would give it one more year this year," he explained.

"I have a family at home that I probably haven't given as much time to this past few years as I should have been doing.

"So, there are a lot of factors really. Work and all. But the result today was nothing to do with my decision to step down. That was made a while back."

Looking back on his time in charge he says it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

"I'm delighted really," he remarked.

"People were telling me it was a poisoned chalice when I came in with all their success but we won an All-Ireland, three leagues and three Munster championships so we haven't done too bad.

"Obviously the gold standard is the All-Ireland. I accept all that but when you have young girls coming through; Eimear Kiely took her first journey in Croke Park today and Niamh Cotter the same.

"I would hope whoever takes over would take on that challenge and bring the team forward again and hopefully back up those steps in a year or two again," he concluded, also thanking his management team.