- Premier League
Irish Abroad: Richard Dunne returns to Aston Villa lineup as James McClean nets again
After every round of weekend fixtures, find the details of how Irish players overseas performed for their respective clubs
|Bet:||Returns:||England £14.00||Draw £43.30||Ireland £55.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||England £15.33||Draw £38.00||Ireland £65.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||England £15.00||Draw £38.00||Ireland £60.00|
By Ronan Murphy
James McClean made headlines again this weekend. Most of them were concerned with his possible inclusion in the Ireland Euro 2012 squad, but a few keen observers also noted that he found the net once again for Sunderland. The Derry-born winger curled in a free kick against Bolton Wanderers in Saturday's 2-2 draw.
Richard Dunne returned to the Aston Villa starting XI against West Bromwich Albion, helping the Villans to a point and a clean sheet as they battle relegation. Dunne was solid at the back, with Ciaran Clark in midfield once again, and Shay Given pulling off a late save to give his side a share of the spoils. Shane Long started for the Baggies, but did little to test Given.
Andy Keogh ended the season with another goal for Millwall, giving them a late point against Blackpool to finish 16th in the table. Since joining the Lions in January, the Dubliner has made 18 appearances and found the net 10 times.
Birmingham City set up a playoff semi final with Blackpool thanks to a 2-0 win over Championship winners Reading. Adam Rooney opened the scoring for the Blues after coming on as an early substitute, while goalkeeper Colin Doyle kept out Ian Harte's spot kick to seal fourth place.
Southampton secured promotion to the Premier League with a 4-0 win over Coventry City, but David Connolly failed a late fitness test to make the squad. Connolly's contract is up at the end of the season, and it will be interesting to see if manager Nigel Adkins keeps him around next year.
Ireland international winger Keith Treacy opened the scoring in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Brentford, moving closer to the second promotion spot and a return to the Championship. Treacy, who is on loan from Burnley, found the net with a free kick, helping Wednesday move a point ahead of Sheffield United with a game to go.
Milton Keynes Dons look set to finish in fourth place, after a 2-1 win against Rochdale. Former Bray Wanderers and Galway United winger Jay O'Shea hit his fifth goal of the season with a well-struck shot in the third minute.
Alan Judge's double for Notts County moved them a step closer to the playoffs, but relegated Wycombe from League One. Judge scored two long-range efforts to put the Magpies level on points with Stevenage for the final playoff spot.
Meath-born forward Donal McDermott scored for Bournemouth at Scunthorpe United, but the Iron rescued a point when Cliff Byrne's cross found Garry Thompson late on.
Former Ireland under-21 forward Ben Burgess got his second goal for Cheltenham Town in a 3-1 win over Bradford City, to ensure the Robins a playoff spot. Burgess scored the fourth goal of the game, having become an automatic starter since his loan move from Notts County.
Shrewsbury Town cemented League One football next season thanks to a 1-0 win over Dagenham and Redbridge. James Collins found the net once again, heading home just before half time for his 16th goal of the campaign.
Willo Flood scored a neat drive for Dundee United's opener against Hearts, but an 83rd-minute equaliser from the Edinburgh side means that the Tangerines' hopes of a Champions League qualifying spot are almost over.
Dundee United are now five points adrift of third-placed Motherwell with three games remaining.
Former Sligo Rovers striker Eoin Doyle spurned two great chances for Hibernian as they lost 1-0 to St Mirren on Sunday.
The loss leaves Pat Fenlon's side just three points above bottom-placed Dunfermline.
Saturday night saw a rare penalty miss for Robbie Keane, who shot wide from the spot in LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw with FC Dallas. Keane stepped in for regular penalty taker Landon Donovan, but was disappointed to see his effort beat the keeper and the post.
Aiden McGeady got an assist on Spartak Moscow's equaliser against CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League, but a late free kick gave Spartak's rivals the win.
Barry Maguire found the net once again for VVV Venlo, as his side fight to stay in the Eredivisie. VVV beat ADO Den Haag 2-1 to give themselves a slim chance of escaping the relegation playoff.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Defenders: Cliff Byrne (Scunthorpe), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), David Van Zanten (St Mirren)
Midfielders: Keith Treacy (Sheffield Wednesday), James McCarthy (Wigan), Barry Maguire (VVV Venlo), James McClean (Sunderland)
Forwards: Adam Rooney (Birmingham), Ben Burgess (Cheltenham)
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