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Ireland's Kiernan returns for West Ham after six-month injury lay-off

The Cavan attacker was out of action with a hamstring injury.

Leanne Kiernan on the ball for Ireland.
Leanne Kiernan on the ball for Ireland.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

IRELAND ATTACKER LEANNE Kiernan was back on the pitch today for the first time since November after recovering from a hamstring injury.

The Cavan native was introduced in the second half of West Ham’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Women’s Super League [WSL], replacing Maisy Barker in the 73rd minute.

The timing of Kiernan’s injury last year was a huge blow for Ireland ahead of their crunch Euro 2022 qualifier against Germany.

At the time, manager Vera Pauw said they could not risk playing her as it could “destroy her career because it could rupture and scar her hamstring for the rest of her career.”

Her return is a timely boost for the Girls in Green who will open their 2023 Women’s World Cup qualification bid with a trip to Georgia in September.

Vera Pauw’s side will then host top seeds Sweden on 21 October before travelling to Finland on 26 October ahead of a November double-header which sees both Slovakia and Georgia come to Dublin.

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The campaign resumes in April 2022 when Ireland travel to Sweden before finishing with games at home to Finland and away to Slovakia in September 2022.

“It’s been awhile to say the least,” Kiernan wrote on Twitter after making her appearance for the Hmmers today. “Happy to be back out there.”

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