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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

'It just reveals the character in our group. We have people willing to do whatever it takes'

After her early withdrawal today, Dublin star Nicole Owens is a doubt for the All-Ireland final with an ongoing knee injury.

Nicole Owens was helped off the field after just four minutes.
Nicole Owens was helped off the field after just four minutes.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

- Emma Duffy reports from Croke Park

PRIDE WAS THE overriding feeling of Dublin manager Mick Bohan in the wake of his back-to-back All-Ireland champions’ semi-final win over Cork at Croke Park today.

With the three in-a-row dream well and truly alive, the Sky Blues didn’t come out of the six-point victory unscathed, however, with star forward Nicole Owens’ afternoon ending just four minutes in. 

There were rumours beforehand that the St Sylvester’s star had sustained a cruciate injury, but she was a late change to the staring team, wearing the number 29 jersey along with some heavy strapping on her right knee.

The curtain came down on her contribution from early doors however, as her knee appeared to buckle on the run as she tracked Cork’s Orla Finn.

And afterwards Bohan explained he situation at hand.

“She sustained a knee injury in the warm-up in the Monaghan game [in their group stage clash on 27 July],” he said, later clarifying that it was “a ligament injury”.

nicole-owens-suffers-an-early-injury Owens after suffering the early injury. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“The work she has done to try and repair it to get back for today was just colossal. I think she’s done something like 30 one-on-one sessions. For her, it’s obviously a huge blow because to do that and to get the setback in the first five minutes of the game…

The only thing I can say about that is it just reveals the character that’s in our group, that we have people that are willing to do whatever it takes to try to be successful.

“Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean we’re not proud of them.”

With Galway next up in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, 15 September, Bohan refused to rule her out of the showdown just yet.

I wouldn’t have any clue,” he responded when asked if she was a major doubt. “I’m not a medic. We’ll have to get her MRI’d again and see what the situation is. It’s going to be a tough road for her, but they’re made of tough stuff.

“I don’t know what happened, so we’ll obviously have to get that assessed by our medical team and go at it again.”

He stressed his immense pride in the group over and over following the victory over their arch-rivals, in which captain Sinéad Aherne and substitute Caoimhe O’Connor bagged the all-important goals in front of 10,886 at HQ.

“Ultimately, three weeks ago we weren’t in a good place,” the Clontarf club man added. 

mick-bohan Dublin manager Mick Bohan. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“We weren’t playing good football. We certainly didn’t hit the tempo that was requires for this end of the championship. We weren’t good up to three weeks ago, we were sporadically playing decent football.

“We were hugely impressed by the way these guys went about it, particularly over the last fortnight. Just the maturity in the group in knowing that they had to get up a couple of notches, and the way that they approached training and the leadership they showed to make the thing work.

“Look, we’re incredibly proud of that performance there today. I feel that’s as hard as we’ve ever had to work. We were absolutely chuffed. I’m so proud of our group today, the way they went about their work”

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Emma Duffy

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