SoccerTV View

TV view: Lucy Quinn due a frosty reception at home after scoring against her partner

Further challenges for Ireland loom but six wins out of six, 18 points from 18, 20 goals scored and two conceded bodes well

This Republic of Ireland team must feel like their 2023 began in, oh, 1986. By Izzy Atkinson’s calculation, the squad have spent a third of the year together so, understandably enough, as she chuckled, “we’re all just sick of each other”.

Mind you, cabin fever tends to be alleviated when the times are good, and since the start of this Nations League campaign they’ve just kept on rolling.

And they rolled on some more in Windsor Park on Tuesday evening: 6-1, good Lord!

Just a small gripe here until we move on to footballing matters. Amhrán na bhFiann wasn’t booed, it was met with a respectful silence by the home crowd, so until supporters of women’s football can prove to be as belligerent and rancorous as the lads, there will never be equality.


Ahead of the game, the BBC did a hoot of an interview with the Republic’s Lucy Quinn and Norn Iron’s Rebecca Holloway who planned on being belligerent and rancorous towards each other in the course of the game. That was grand, except you worried for their home life: they’re partners.

These things really shouldn’t make you blink, of course, but the comfort with which they talked about their relationship was a very lovely thing. We’ve come a long way.

Quinn, you’ll recall, scored the Republic’s first goal at the Aviva Stadium in September’s 3-0 win over Northern Ireland.

“I just thought, ‘That’s not Luce on the edge of the box, that’s not her’ … I was fuming,” said Holloway, who watched, aghast, from further up the field. “That was not a nice reminder that you were actually on the pitch. I am obviously proud of you,” she said, “but just don’t do it again.”

Windsor Park, 37th minute, Lucy Quinn scores. “She’s broken Rebecca Holloway’s heart yet again,” said George Hamilton. And within two minutes Holloway’s heart was in smithereens, Quinn placing an assist on a plate for Heather Payne.

(And anyone who has watched Quinn’s Life’s a Pitch podcast with the mighty Ruesha Littlejohn will know that she’s a rascal of the most impish variety and will, most likely, now make Holloway’s life hell).

But the occasion wasn’t quite 1993 revisited, the only flashpoints Katie McCabe being clattered and doing some clattering. Áine O’Gorman, meanwhile, was half-regretting retiring from international football. “I wouldn’t mind a run around tonight, George, I’m freeeeeeezing.”

The second half warmed her up, though, Kyra Carusa nodding home McCabe’s cross, before the skipper dispelled any notion that she doesn’t possess a right foot, using it to curl home a beaut to make it 4-0. “It’ll be all over Twitter tonight,” said Megan Campbell of the artist now called X.

A consolation score from the home crew between goals from Louise Quinn and Caitlin Hayes, little wonder Eileen Gleeson was doing a jig on the touchline.

Considering the opposition in the group — cue the obligatory “no offence” — we shouldn’t, of course, lose the run of ourselves, there are meatier challenges ahead. But six wins out of six, 18 points out of 18, 20 goals scored and two conceded. Look, you’d take it. Not least because it’s not so long ago that this Irish team struggled to dispatch supposedly inferior opposition.

A heck of a year. A World Cup debut, and no little drama. On Monday, Vera Pauw was tweeting a link to an article about her involvement in an Asian Football Confederation coaching course, while Gleeson, her former deputy, was en route to a perfect Nations League campaign. Funny old game.

Pauw’s permanent successor will be named soon-ish. Tony O’Donoghue skirted around the notion that Gleeson might be up for the role when he spoke to her post-match, but she was keeping schtum. “The future is bright, what a year for Irish women’s football,” she beamed. And that it was. Whether she’ll be the chosen one to take it on, we’ll see.

More importantly, the Quinn-Holloway situation?

“She’s been so good against Northern Ireland, what’s motivating her,” asked Marie Crowe. “Probably going home in the evening,” said Megan Campbell.

Quinn confirmed as much when O’Donoghue asked her what the atmosphere would be like at home after the game. “Probably a bit frosty,” she said. Thoughts and prayers for Rebecca, she’ll be sick of the sight of Quinn on the scoresheet.