Football

Leanne Kiernan Showed Today Why She Might Be The Next Star Of Irish Football

Leanne Kiernan Showed Today Why She Might Be The Next Star Of Irish Football

Leanne Kiernan could be the next star of women's football in this country, judging by the way she tore Wexford Youths asunder for Shelbourne in today's WFAI Cup final.

Shelbourne Ladies won today's FAI Women's Cup final by defeating Wexford Youths by five goals to nil at the Aviva Stadium and thus got some revenge for last year's defeat at the hands of the same opposition, when Wexford won on penalties.

The most notable individual performance to come out of the game was undoubtedly that of Shels' Leanne Kiernan, who scored a hat-trick and picked up the 'player of the match' award for her efforts. Kiernan continued on her scoring exploits from the semi-final stage when she banged in a brace against Peamount United.

Her first effort was a delightful finish after an exquisite pass from team-mate Gloria Douglas, which put Shels 2-0 up following the opener from Noelle Murray.

And Kiernan made it 3-0 to Shelbourne shortly before half-time, showing great pace and power to take advantage of another precise through-ball, this time from Murray.

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Her third and final goal was from the penalty spot after Siobhan Killeen went down under a tackle from Jessica Gleeson. Not a bad pen, either.

Kiernan is ridiculously still only seventeen years of age and yet her skill, speed and - perhaps unexpectedly, considering her size - strength were notable throughout the course of the match. Playing for the Republic of Ireland under 17 side in their European campaign earlier in the year she bagged three goals and an assist in five games and no doubt her performance today will have alerted any scouts previously unaware of her talent to what she can do on a pitch.

Kiernan may harbour hopes of following the likes of Irish senior players Niamh Fahey and Stephanie Roche to England in order to further explore just how far her talents will take her - but Shels will be trying to keep a hold of her for as long as they can if she can keep putting out performances like this.

One for the future? Make that one for the present.

SEE ALSO: Irish Women's Soccer Needs To Live Up To Its Own Promises

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Conall Cahill

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