Ireland captain McCabe leads the way with Arsenal brace on busy day across the water

There was plenty of Irish involvement in the group stages of the Women’s Super League Continental Cup.

Katie McCabe in action yesterday.
Katie McCabe in action yesterday.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

IRELAND CAPTAIN KATIE McCabe lead the way for the Irish contingent across the water yesterday as she hit a brace to help holders Arsenal to an opening FAWSL Continental Tyres Cup win.

There was plenty of representation from the Girls in Green as the Gunners went head-to-head with West Ham United at Meadow Park. Wicklow’s Louise Quinn is a teammate of McCabe’s while teenage sensation Leanne Kiernan recently signed for the Hammers.

All three started but it was 23-year-old McCabe who stole the headlines. The Dubliner first found the back of the net after 13 minutes, calmly slotting home from close range.

She went on to seal the 3-1 win with 79 minutes on the clock, a fine individual effort capping a glittering performance from the winger.

“It’s obviously great to get the goals myself,” McCabe told the The FA Women’s website afterwards. “But I think personally, it’s down to the team performance today which was absolutely excellent all across the park.

“I think we’re trying to get that baseline set, we’ve worked hard over pre-season, we’ve had tough pre-season games against Montpellier and PSG to test ourselves against good European teams.

“You want to get going early on but it’s also about patience and building in to things, obviously there’s an international break now so it’s making sure everyone stays fit and comes back okay.

“Of course, you want to hold on to any titles that you have but its important to stay grounded and take each game as it comes and make sure you put a good performance in.”

That upcoming international break sees Colin Bell’s Ireland side face Northern Ireland at Tallaght on Friday, 31 August in their last 2019 World Cup qualification game.

The dream of reaching the finals has already been dashed but they’ll surely aim to finish their campaign on a high on home soil.

Upon her return to the club scene, McCabe’s side start their league campaign against Liverpool — and there’ll be more Irish interest in that one.

Niamh Fahey Galway native Niamh Fahey. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“Liverpool are a strong team so we’ll be ready for a tough match. I’m looking forward to playing Niamh Fahey she’s back over in England so it’ll be nice to see her.”

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Fellow Ireland international Fahey joined the Reds last month following a season in Ligue 1 with Bordeaux. And the 30-year-old was in action yesterday in an historic fixture.

Her team were out against Manchester United, a first competitive game for Casey Stoney’s new charges. Fahey — who has also played for Chelsea and Arsenal — was on the losing end of the result however as United recorded a famous 1-0 win thanks to Lizzie Arnot’s late goal.

Elsewhere, Grace Moloney impressed between the posts as Reading ran out 4-1 winners over Durham after a bright start in their Cup opener.

And Harriet Scott made her first appearance on the Birmingham City bench following her move from Reading last week, while Heather Payne was in action for Bristol following her recent switch across the water from Peamount.

- Updated 19.12 

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