Ireland’s victory over Finland last night gave them a World Cup playoff, but the exclusion of four players in the final Group A qualifying tie with Slovakia in Bratislava on Tuesday took a heavy toll. I paid.

Iam Fahey, who was ruled out last night with a groin issue, was out, Lucia Littlejohn injured his leg early on, and Megan Connolly (rib) was also sidelined.

Jamie Finn has been suspended for a third yellow card, but manager Vera Pau said in a morning radio interview that he already plans to exclude Finn to protect her from a possible playoff suspension. I implied that I was standing up.

Shelbourne’s Jesse Stapleton and West Ham United’s Isbir Atkinson have been drafted and will leave this weekend.

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