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Bohan gets chance to right the wrongs with Dublin after disappointment of 2003

The Dubs are back in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final for the fourth year in a row.

Mick Bohan Dublin senior ladies football manager Mick Bohan. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

MICK BOHAN HAS the chance to right the wrongs of 14 years ago when he manages Dublin in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final on 24 September.

Back in 2003, Bohan was in charge when the Dubs lost to Mayo in the September showpiece. But in his second stint at the helm, Bohan has managed to bring Dublin back to another decider, and they’re now just 60 minutes away from a second title — and first since 2010.

Since that first spell in charge, Bohan was busy racking up an impressive coaching CV. He was involved with Sigerson Cup winning teams at Dublin City University, and also assisted Jim Gavin in All-Ireland U21 and senior wins. Bohan also spent a year alongside Colm Collins in Clare before accepting an invitation to return to the Dublin ladies role.

Following Saturday’s semi-final victory over Kerry at Semple Stadium, Bohan reflected: “I’ve been terribly lucky in that period to be involved with a serious amount of good footballers and today was as pleasing a performance as I’ve been involved in, at any level, because they worked so hard.

“I thought it was a really disciplined, defensive performance from them as a unit. They moved the ball well and I thought some of the finishing was top drawer.”

Sinead Aherne Sinéad Aherne produced another inspired performance against Kerry. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Captain Sinéad Aherne scored 1-9 in the quarter-final victory over Waterford and she collected 2-7 to floor the Kingdom. Aherne had 2-5, including a penalty goal, on the board by half-time as Dublin led by 2-6 to 0-4.

Further goals followed for Dublin in the second period as Noelle Healy collected a brace, with Nicole Owens also on target. Kerry were simply outclassed, although Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh carried the fight to Dublin, finishing with a haul of 0-8.

Bohan added: “Somebody told me Sinéad scored 2-7? I wouldn’t be able to tell you that because all I know is they’re all working hard to put people in the right place. But what a return in an All-Ireland semi-final from one of the game’s greatest players.”

For Dublin, the reward is a shot at Cork or Mayo next month. And they certainly won’t lack for motivation, having suffered final defeats to Cork in 2014, 2015 and 2016. But for now, Bohan is pleased that players who have suffered so much heartbreak in recent times found it within themselves to get back to another final.

Mick Bohan with Dublin Ladies football team 5/10/2003 Mick Bohan with the Dublin team before the All-Ireland final in 2003. Source: INPHO

He said: “We’re at this nine months now and there’s absolutely no guarantees that you can get a team back to this level. You don’t know until you get involved if the energy is going to be there because it takes a shocking amount of work. All you can do is put plans in place and coach a team to the best of your ability.

“When they cross the white line, it’s back over to the players but this group has taken remarkable ownership of the set-up since we came in. We’re only trying to facilitate them to make them better.”

Kerry lost at the semi-final stage for the fifth time in eight seasons but they do have a Munster title as consolation. Manager Graham Shine, who masterminded back-to-back All-Ireland U16 successes before taking the senior job, will be back for another stint in 2018.

He said: “I can’t fault their commitment. Dublin are a little bit further down the line than us. But we’ll learn from today – that’s what football’s all about – and hopefully we’ll have another day next year.”


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