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'For her, a spectacular day' - Bohan lauds Dublin's captain fantastic Aherne

Sinead Aherne skippered Dublin to their first league title and scored 0-12 in the process.

Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Emma Duffy reports from Parnell Park

IT WAS A day to remember for captain fantastic Sinéad Aherne as 2017 TG4 All-Ireland senior champions Dublin added a first-ever Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 title to their cabinet yesterday.

“It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that that’s Dublin’s first National League title,” manager Mick Bohan reflected after.

“Sinéad Aherne is playing 15 years for Dublin and that’s her first National League title. For her, a spectacular day – to give such a performance, to captain the team and obviously to create history.”

The Clontarf clubman added that Sky Blues didn’t expect to dominate so much on the day as they defeated Mayo by 11 points, and brought an end to Cork’s five-year reign as holders.

“No, we didn’t,” he conceded.

“The reality is that sometimes the scoreboard reflects an easy finish, (but) they were in for two really good goal chances. A couple of outstanding saves from Ciara Trant right throughout the game. Niamh Collins made a very important block.

“Their philosophy in the tackle was outstanding. The intensity in that first half was something that we hadn’t seen from them during the National League but they’ve learned to step up when needs be.”

Mick Bohan Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Goals from Aherne, Laura McGinley and 2017 Player of the Year Noelle Healy, along with a dominant performance from start to finish, meant that Mayo hearts were broken once again in a national showpiece.

It was, of course, a repeat of the 2017 TG4 All-Ireland senior decider, in which the Sky Blues triumphed by 12 points at Croke Park after a flurry of late goals.

But again, Mayo’s fight could not be faulted, while Sarah Rowe’s 1-5 performance was one of the standout events for the Green and Red.

“We got a really good performance today which was really pleasing,” the star of the show herself, Aherne, remarked afterwards.

“I thought we played in the conditions quite well. We got out of the blocks quite fast and managed to push on. We shut it down quite well and controlled it.

“It is satisfying. That’s what we need going into championship.”

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Emma Duffy

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