Sinéad Goldrick celebrating the win with the injured Niamh Collins. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
comeback queen

'What an achievement. Goldie tore the hamstring off the bone six-and-a-half months ago'

Mick Bohan paid tribute to the returning Sinéad Goldrick after Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final win over Mayo.

DUBLIN LADIES FOOTBALL boss Mick Bohan hailed “the older lemons” after his side’s TG4 All-Ireland senior championship semi-final win over Mayo on Saturday evening.

Asked for his immediate thoughts after the industrious 1-17 to 2-9 win at Croke Park as the Drive for Five continued, Bohan began:

“We had a tough week. We lost three of our starting team, two (Carla Rowe and Niamh McEvoy) last Saturday, and Niamh Collins unfortunately pulled up with a groin problem on Thursday. No matter who you are, to [loose those players] you can stutter.

“I thought the way it was handled and the leadership from within the group dealing with that was just fantastic. It was very interesting looking at it from a distance today. Before half-time, we were stuttering a little bit. Sinéad Aherne pops up with a brilliant point, Lyndsey [Davey] pops up with a brilliant point. People talk about game management, that’s game management at the top level.

“Caoimhe [O'Connor] was in for a goal, but it closed; just delay, come back — there was a palmed goal for Jen Dunne coming through the centre. The older lemons see it.

“Obviously youth is fantastic but look… I still say if we’d have lost those players this year — Lyndsey [Davey], Macker [Niamh McEvoy], Sinéad Aherne, Goldie [Sinéad Goldrick], all those players who’ve been incredible servants, but look what they’re still doing for us.

“They’re my thoughts, I’m hugely proud of them. It’s easy to throw it out and say, ‘Dublin are this…’ or ‘they have this amount of players’. Those older players made those younger players. Far away from the coaching staff, those girls have just embraced the whole thing of knowledge and learning and football education. I’ve said that quite a lot this year, because it’s been so enjoyable to see it.”

dublin-v-mayo-tg4-all-ireland-senior-ladies-football-championship-semi-final Sinéad Goldrick getting past Sarah Rowe. Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE / SPORTSFILE

Clontarf clubman Bohan reserved special praise for Goldrick, in particular, who came off the bench and half-time to mark her return from a serious hamstring injury.

The eight-time All-Star, who plays Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] with Melbourne FC, underwent surgery in March.

“Goldie, there you go,” he beamed. “What an achievement. Goldie tore the hamstring off the bone six-and-a-half months ago. What an achievement.

“I mean, rusty as hell out there, but the energy she brings to our group, she epitomises the way that we want to play the game. You couldn’t but forgive her for any mistakes she made.

“Just to see her back out in that arena.. the likes of her, Sinéad Aherne, Lyndsey [Davey], they just sum it all up for me. Whatever mistakes she made today, we forgive her. It was great to see her back out there.”

The Sky Blues welcomed another long-term absentee back in Éabha Rutledge, who has endured a nightmare struggle with concussion stretching back to this time last year, while Bohan joked that he gave Player of the Match Hannah Tyrrell “the night off” training for her mid-week wedding:

On the flipside, there were concerns for injured duo Niamh Collins (groin) and Carla Rowe (hamstring).

Both withdrawn from the starting line-up along with Niamh McEvoy, who had struggled with a calf setback but came off the bench on Saturday, Bohan admits Collins and Rowe are doubts for the 5 September final.

“It’s a race against time for both of them. The reality is that both of those injuries – groins and hamstrings, sometimes you can be lucky and and sometimes you can be unlucky.

“In my opinion, Carla’s possibly the best player in the country at the moment, so to lose someone of her magnitude… like, she lit up the place the last day. Obviously, she’s a marquee player, and people are identifying her and she’s still dealing with all of that.

“Carla has had a really tough year, she had two calf injuries on both legs. From the time she spent out recovering, to come back and give the performances she’s given just shows you where she’s at.

“The way she carried herself around the group and the energy she gave to the kids coming in in her position and the learnings, they were just fantastic contributors even though they were out.”

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