Soccer: Dublin stars dominate airwaves this weekend

Dublin soccer will look to shine under separate massive spotlights this weekend. 

The best Dublin women’s football has to offer has been handed the chance to perform for the terrestrial TV cameras at home and across the water.

The 2021 SSE Airtricity Women’s National League title race has gone to the wire and provides a dramatic television-worthy finish.

Peamount United will be hoping to secure a record-breaking thrid successive title win with victory over Galway in Greenogue on Saturday – and if title success and a place in the history books weren’t motivation enough, they also have the chance to become TV stars, as the TG4 cameras will once again make the visit to Newcastle.

The Peas, who are on an 11 game unbeaten run, could have wrapped things up with victory over DRL Waves last weekend but couldn’t find a way past an inspired netminder, meaning they need three points or a better result than Shelbourne who play Wexford Youths on the final day.

Irish language station TG4 have picked up on the TV friendly scenario and will broadcast the game, meaning women’s football and the WNL get prime time exposure as a result. Kick-off at Greenogue is at 7.30m.

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A Dublin player rather than a team from the capital will have the eyeballs on her earlier in the day. Ireland inspiration Katie McCabe will line up for Arsenal, as they face North London rivals Tottenham in a BBC broadcast Women’s Super League match.

It’s another chance for the versatile star to earn plaudits and show a wider audience what she is about. The Dub goes into the derby on the back of being crowned Women’s Super League Player of the Month for October.

McCabe– who captained Ireland to a major victory in Finland last month – has been in superb form for Arsenal this season.

The 26-year-old has scored three goals and provided three assists in five league games while playing left-back for the league leaders. Such are her displays that Irish legend Paul McGrath and Gunners legend Ian Wright have been two of many sending compliments her way. Indeed, Arsenal favourite Wright claims McCabe is his favourite player.

“She’s one of those players where you don’t get less than 8 out of 10 from her. Gets on with the game, flies into tackles, great footballer, great crosses, at the moment scoring great goals.”

Elsewhere, Republic of Ireland players paid a visit to children at CHI at Temple Street and CHI at Crumlin ahead of the Christmas season.

With the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the players chatted with the children at both hospitals virtually as Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty visited Temple Street, and John Egan and Chiedozie Ogbene visited Crumlin.

Coleman and Doherty visited two huge Ireland fans in Temple Street, 15-year old Liam Roche and nine-year-old Dexter Murmane where they were asked about the Portugal qualifier coming up at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday.

At Crumlin, Egan and Ogbene were brought around the ward by the staff at the hospital as the Ireland players look to raise spirits ahead of the Christmas period.

Chief Executive, Children’s Health Ireland, Eilísh Hardiman said the impact these types of visits have on children in hospital cannot be underestimated. 

“We have some very sick children in our hospitals and it’s been an incredibly hard year for them with restrictions meaning few visits and far fewer entertainments than we can normally accommodate. 

“From all in CHI, I want to sincerely thank the players for giving their time and bringing genuine joy to our patients while they stay with us.”

Caption 1: Peamount United footballer Stephanie Roche, whose side will be on TG4 on Saturday, was on hand at the launch of Special Olympics Ireland’s ‘get freezin for a reason’ campaign urging people to take the Polar Plunge at Sandycove Pier. From left, Special Olympics athletes Lorcan Tully, Eoin Tully and Edel Armstrong

Caption 2: Republic of Ireland stars Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty pay a visit to children at Crumlin and Temple Street ahead of the Christmas season

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