Women’s Super League round-up: Katie McCabe’s Arsenal draw with Chelsea

Captain was a surprise omission from starting line-up but came off the bench

The resumption of England’s Super League at the weekend, after a month-long winter break, brought little cheer for its 12 Republic of Ireland representatives, just five of them seeing any action, and four of them ending up on the losing side.

Katie McCabe was the only one of that group to be part of a team that avoided defeat, although the Irish captain was a surprise omission from Arsenal’s starting line-up for their 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

The game was played in front of a crowd of 46,811 at the Emirates Stadium, the second biggest in WSL history after September’s attendance of 47,367 for Arsenal’s meeting Spurs at the same stadium.

McCabe came on for the last 10 minutes, by which time Kim Little had given Arsenal the lead with a penalty, Sam Kerr equalising a minute from time to keep Chelsea top of the table – Arsenal and Manchester United are three points behind, but with a game in hand.


There was no joy, though, elsewhere for the Irish crew, Izzy Atkinson a late sub for West Ham in their home defeat by Manchester City, while Niamh Fahey and Megan Campbell were part of a Liverpool defence that suffered a crushing 6-0 defeat by Manchester United.

On a more positive note for the Liverpool Irish, their manager Matt Beard revealed earlier in the week that Leanne Kiernan, who has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in the opening game of the season, is on course to return next month.

Meanwhile, Megan Connolly was ruled out of Brighton’s game against bottom side Leicester City after picking up an injury during the warm-up, Leicester going on to collect their first points of the season with a 3-0 win having lost their opening nine games. Megan Walsh was in goal for Brighton, their defeat dragging them in to a relegation battle with Leicester, Reading also in trouble after losing 3-2 to Everton.

Everton’s Courtney Brosnan and Reading’s Grace Moloney and Diane Caldwell remained on the bench for the duration of the game, their current predicament at their clubs no doubt a concern for Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw who might well hope they move on, on loan at least, during the transfer window.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times