Fortune steps down as Westmeath hurling boss

June 08, 2024

Westmeath manager Joe Fortune ahead of his team's Division 1B clash with Antrim ©INPHO/Leah Scholes

Westmeath hurling manager Joe Fortune has stepped down from his post after three years at the helm.

It comes after the Lake men fell to defeats at the hands of Kerry and Offaly in a difficult Joe McDonagh Cup campaign which ended their hopes of a return to hurling’s top tier.

Fortune took the job from Shane O’Brien in 2021 following the team’s Joe McDonagh Cup success and would steer them to a draw against his native Wexford in the following year’s Leinster championship.

Last year, Westmeath would pull off one of the great comebacks when they came from 17 points behind against Wexford to defeat the Slaneysiders this time around in the provincial round-robin.

2023 would end in disappointing fashion for the group though, as defeat to Antrim saw them relegated from the Leinster championship and this season saw them finishing fifth in Division 1 Group B of the Allianz League before losses to Kerry and Offaly ensured they wouldn’t be returning to the Joe McDonagh Cup final.

In a statement released by Westmeath GAA yesterday, Fortune stated: “It is with absolute honour, pride and sincerity that I will look back at my three years with the Westmeath senior hurling team. Incredible moments and history at times made by a group of committed men in championship games, yet ultimately falling short this year on what the primary aim was for 2024. Time now to recharge for me and for new energy and voices to develop this group even further.”

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