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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 27 May, 2018
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'It's a silent dressing room' - Historic win for Dublin but disappointment overrules

The reigning All-Ireland senior champions beat Cork at Croke Park for the first time on Saturday night.

A ONE-POINT WIN. Their first-ever victory over old foes Cork in Croke Park. Their third in-a-row in an unbeaten 2018 Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 campaign to date.

Niamh Collins and Aine O'Sullivan Dublin ran out 3-9 to 1-14 winners. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

But Dublin weren’t happy afterwards.

“It’s a silent dressing room in there,” manager Mick Bohan remarks after the 60 or so minutes of football are played on Saturday night.

“They’re disappointed. They know they didn’t play to their capabilities. They certainly made poor decisions going down the track which hasn’t been part of the character of the group.

“They’re at a stage in their football careers now where they’ve been through those hard days. You either learn or you don’t learn. We felt that they had done a lot learning but out there this evening, there was a lot of cardinal errors that came back to haunt them.”

It was a nervy finish for Dublin as the six in-a-row Rebels staged a late fightback, but they showed true ruthlessness at the right times to get over the line and finally put the heartbreak of 2014, 2015 and 2016 All-Ireland final losses to bed.

With 40 minutes played, the Sky Blues were leading by eight points and cruising but failed to capitalise on that while Cork — led predominantly by Orla Finn — launched their comeback.

Mick Bohan Mick Bohan. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Two earlier goals from Olwen Carey and another from Carla Rowe were enough to see them home though, on a night where 2017 Player’s Player of the Year Noelle Healy starred.

Those closing exchanges though, and the overall consensus afterwards?

“We were very disappointed,” Bohan continues, adding that after two losses to Ephie Fitzgerald’s charges in 2017, he felt that the Dubs had evolved.

“We had complete control of the game. We went back into ourselves rather than playing on the front foot, which we had been doing for the previous 40 minutes.

“I was just disappointed. It wasn’t even a situation where I was nervy. I was just disappointed that we had stopped doing the things that we had been doing so well and just went into our shell.

“That’s the part we have to look at because ultimately, we know we’ll be playing Cork again at some stage in the season. There’ll be more at stake so we’ve to learn from it.”

Olwen Carey and Orlagh Farmer Olwen Cary hit two goals for Dublin. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

He added: “That’s what training’s all about. We have a real focus now for the next two weeks before the Castlebar game.”

And on a night where his side played their part in a double-header at GAA HQ ahead of their Dublin and Donegal male counterparts, Bohan stressed that these double billings are the way forward.

“I think the crowd got entertained and ultimately, I keep saying this – there’s an onus and responsibility on the girls to perform. People want to come and get entertained. It’s an entertainment sport.

“People will come and watch them if they play decent football and I think anyone that came in here this evening got their value.”

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Healy shines as Dublin achieve first ever victory over Cork at Croke Park

Three from three for All-Ireland champs Dublin while 2017 runners-up Mayo edge Galway

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Emma Duffy

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