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Bohs blow as Byrne to miss season

THEIR FAI Cup win over Cork City has come at a great cost for Bohemians as the Gypsies will be without key defender Dan Byrne for the rest of the season due to injury.

The 21-year-old, who has impressed at centre half this season, was stretchered off in the first half of Monday's 1-0 win at home to Cork and will not play again this term.

With full back Anto Murphy also sidelined due to injury it leaves Bohs very short of options at the back and manager Owen Heary admits that Byrne will be badly missed.

"He'll be out for the rest of the season," says Heary.

"It's harsh for Dan because he's been playing brilliantly. He's only 21 or 22 years of age and he stepped up to the plate this year. He made that position his own.

"It's unfortunate he's managed to do his cruciate. He was struggling with a little bit of tightness before the game but he wanted to play and try it out. When he got the smack maybe he should have come off but he said he was alright, typical young lad wants to play all the time but unfortunately he went over on it."

Their league status is almost certainly secure for next season after a run of just one defeat in their last eight games so the FAI Cup is the main focus for the Gypsies for the rest of the year.

But the squad will be tested with the absence of Byrne and Murphy, while full back Steven Beattie is also out in the short-term due to suspension, so Bohs will have to promote youngsters like U17 cap Stephen Best - a nephew of Ireland and Derby striker Leon Best.

"I know he's a young lad but we could throw him in. It's important we give these young fellahs a chance," says Heary.

"That's what happens, someone gets injured and Dan Byrne is only a young lad himself who was having a great season and unfortunately gets injured and maybe Stephen can step up to the plate. He's 17 and came from Crumlin United. I signed him for the under-19s this year but he has a bit about him."