Kiernan shines with six-minute hat-trick for Liverpool

Soccer news

Republic of Ireland striker Leanne Kiernan scored a six-minute hat-trick as FA Women's Championship leaders Liverpool won 6-0 at Blackburn Rovers.

The Bailieborough native has been in prolific form in the English second tier this season and made it 10 for the season in the league.

It was her Ireland team-mate, Niamh Fahey, who opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark to leave Liverpool 1-0 up at the break.

Kiernan then took charge of proceedings with her first goal on 52 minutes, before netting twice more by the 58th minute.

The 22-year-old forward, who signed for the Reds from West Ham last summer, won the Player of the Match award for her display.

The former Anglo-Celt Sports Star of the Year, who has scored five goals in her 22 Ireland senior appearances – notched her three-goal tally between the 52nd and 58th minutes, including a right-footed effort which found the top corner of the Blackburn net.

Kiernan's career was stalled to an extent by shin splints during her time with West Ham but the move to Liverpool has been a huge success.

“It is not something that just goes away overnight. So, I played for maybe three or four months in absolute agony, and then I just put the hat in and said I couldn’t do it anymore. I took six months off completely, went home for a few weeks," she told the Irish Times last October.

In June, she signed for Liverpool having taken that time-out due to the injury.

“I had to, I couldn’t walk. There were tears coming down from my eyes one day doing the warm-ups in training and I just thought that this is not right. And I was showing maybe 40 per cent of my ability compared to what I can show, it is not good for me, it is not good for the coach. Nobody is benefitting out of this.”

Leanne's father John advised her to go to Merseyside and it has paid off already.

“I had a few more options on the side but my dad said straightaway, ‘Listen Leanne, I have a really good feeling about this and I think it’s a really good move for you’.

“I felt it myself but sometimes it’s quite handy when I have an opinion that I really respect, and that’s the case with dad and I took it.”