Ciara earns her first senior cap

LETTERKENNNY native Ciara Grant made her Republic of Ireland international senior debut last week against Olympic champions USA in Portland, Oregan.

LETTERKENNNY native Ciara Grant made her Republic of Ireland international senior debut last week against Olympic champions USA in Portland, Oregan.

Ciara was part of the Irish side that went down 5-0 on Wednesday night, coming off the bench on 57 minutes to replace Niamh Fahey. Sue Ronan’s side were always going to be outsiders and an Alex Morgan hat-trick in the first half and a double from substitute Sydney Leroux after the break decided the game in front of 10,092 spectators at JELD-WEN Field.

Ciara managed to swap jerseys with Heather O’Reilly, one of the stars of the American team. The sides met then again on Saturday night at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. A much improved Irish performance was undertaken but the USA still won 2-0 with goals from Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe with Ciara, from Ballyraine, playing the first 45 minutes.

Nineteen-year-old Ciara had represented the girls in green 63 times at underage level, most notably playing a leading role from centre midfield as Ireland reached the U-17 Uefa Championship final in Switzerland in 2010, where they lost to Spain on penalties.

That same year, Ireland made the last 16 of the World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, before losing out against Japan by two goals to one. She previously represented Kilmacrennan Celtic and now a student in UCD, Ciara wears the club colours of Raheny FC in Dublin.