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Blow to Dublin's three in-a-row bid after key losses but 'good news' for captain on injury front

All-Star Sinéad Finnegan is ‘taking a sabbatical’ while former Ireland international Siobhán Killeen sustained a long-term injury.

THREE IN-A-ROW CHASING Dublin are relieved with the news that All-Ireland winning captain Sinéad Aherne’s injury isn’t as bad as initially feared, but they’ve been dealt another blow after All-Star Sinéad Finnegan’s departure from the panel.

finnegan aherne In and out: Sinéad Aherne and Sinéad Finnegan. Source: Inpho.

“Sinéad is just taking a bit of a sabbatical from us so that’s that,” manager Mick Bohan confirmed at today’s 2019 TG4 All-Ireland championship launch in Croke Park.

A further setback comes in the form of former Ireland international Siobhán Killeen’s gut-wrenching long-term injury sustained in training in May.

“Terrible, terrible,” Clontarf clubman Bohan frowned. “She ripped the hamstring off the bone in a completely innocuous situation in training. She just turned a particular way.

“From start to finish it’s a six-month injury. She’s still in a brace, but she’s around the squad and she’s been a huge contribution in so many ways — particularly to some of the kids. That’s one of the key reasons we kept her; we just saw the influence she was having. 

She was hitting the heights, she certainly was and is definitely a loss for us. But they’re the highs and lows of sport. An opportunity for someone else.

Aherne, on the other hand, sustained a nasty-looking shoulder injury in the Sky Blues’ recent Leinster final win over Westmeath.

The St Sylvester’s star left the field with 12 minutes played in Dublin’s 4-11 to 1-7 victory at Netwatch Cullen Park as they captured their eighth Leinster crown in-a-row.

“When it happened initially we were very concerned but we got good news on the Monday or Tuesday morning that it was only a partial dislocation,” Bohan explained.

Look, we’re delighted she’s back in the fray. She’s made a serious recovery quickly so I’m delighted with that.”

“It’s not too bad,” Aherne herself told The42. “I just picked up a knock, really. It’s not as serious as is feared when you’re down. Hopefully a couple of weeks now and I’ll be grand again.

“Once you see someone and you’re hearing things like, ‘You don’t need surgery,’ or anything like that, then you’re happy out. It’s just about doing a bit of work on it. Hopefully it’s back to its best in no time.”

Mick Bohan talks too Siobhan Killeen before the game Bohan speaking to Siobhan Killeen in April. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

With three-time All-Ireland winner Lyndsey Davey and 2018 final hero Carla Rowe also missing that Leinster final clash through injury, Bohan is happy to report they’re recovering nicely.

“The last day we were missing Lyndsey and Carla and obviously Sinéad [Aherne] went off after 12 minutes. That was three big hitters very early on in the game.

“Lyndsey’s back in the fray, Carla, it’ll be a tight call come the end of the week but some of the kids have come through. Very happy with some of their rises to fame, particularly kids like Niamh Hetherton with a good lineage of Dublin hurling and football in the family. Delighted for people like her. 

“Oonagh [Whyte] had a fantastic opening outing, Caoimhe O’Connor, Sarah Fagan, all young kids who’ve started to put their hands up.”

Dublin open their Brendan Martin Cup defence this Saturday against Waterford in Portlaoise, before facing Monaghan at the end of the month in their final round robin game before the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

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Emma Duffy

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