Irish Schools complete Centenary Shield tonight...24/04/2014
The Ireland Schools side will complete their Centenary Shield campaign when they host Scotland in Tallaght Stadium at 7.00pm on Thursday evening. Ireland have been excellent in their two away contests, defeating Wales three nil and coming from two goals down to draw three each with England, but their two one home defeat by local rivals Northern Ireland has removed their opportunity to win the competition.
Championship challenge at the Madejski Stadium...22/04/2014
With Derby County and QPR already assured of Championship play-off places and Wigan Athletic looking strong favourites to join them, the battle for that final place is intense, with seven clubs still in contention. Reading moved into sixth position when they defeated Middlesbrough by two goals to nil, at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening. Centre back Alex Pearce retains hopes of being summoned to the Ireland squad for the summer friendlies and likewise full back Stephen Kelly, whose time at Reading has been disappointing, with only sporadic first team appearances.
Heat continues to rise in Championship melting pot...21/04/2014
There was a full programme of Championship contests played this Bank Holiday Easter Monday. Burnley, for whom Keith Treacy and Kevin Long were unused substitutes, won promotion with a two nil victory over Wigan Athletic, for whom James McClean started and Rob Kiernan was a half time substitute. Derby County are assured of a play-off place and they defeated visitors Barnsley by two goals to one. Jeff Hendrick scored the opener and assisted the second, while Richard Keogh was in his usual central defensive position. QPR are also assured of a play-off place, but they dented the similiar hopes of Watford with a two one Loftus Road victory over the 'Hornets'. Richard Dunne and Kevin Doyle both started, while Brian Murphy was an unused substitute. Millwall goalkeeper David Forde kept a clean sheet as his side played out a scoreless draw with visitors Doncaster Rovers, with both sides seeking to avoid relegation.
Airtricity League series nine set for Easter Monday...21/04/2014
There was another full Airtricity League Premier Division programme played today, Easter Monday. Current leaders Cork City won with the only goal at UCD while Dundalk did likewise at Athlone Town. Defending champions St Patrick's Athletic scored a four nil success at Drogheda United while Sligo Rovers overcame Bohemian by two goals to nil in Dalymount Park. Derry City and Limerick played out a scoreless draw in the Brandywell, while Shamrock Rovers defeated Bray Wanderers by two goals to one in the 7.00pm kick-off at Tallaght Stadium.
Sunday afternoon action for Ireland candidates...20/04/2014
Everton duo Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, who both started, and last minute substitute Aiden McGeady helped return Everton to within one point of Arsenal in the contest for that crucial fourth position in the Premiership when Manchester United, under former 'Toffees' manager David Moyes,were defeated by two goals to nil in Goodison Park this afternoon. Earlier in the afternoon, Shane Long and David Meyler started, while Stephen Quinn was a seventieth minute substitute for Hull City who lost by three goals to nil at home to Arsenal in a rehearsal of next month's FA Cup final. Relegation fears grow for Norwich City following their three two home defeat by Liverpool today. Irish duo Wes Hoolihan and Anthony Pilkington, were both absent from the matchday squad.
Easter Saturday afternoon Premiership action...19/04/2014
The meeting of West Ham United and Crystal Palace, saw long term injury absentee Joey O'Brien return to the substitute bench with the hosts, while fellow defender Damian Delaney as expected, was in the visiting defence as they secured a one nil victory. Ciaran Clark was an unused substitute for Aston Villa in their scoreless draw with visitors Southampton while fellow centre back John O'Shea starts for beleaguered Sunderland in the late kick-off against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Stoke City trio of Stephen Ireland, Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson all started while Jon Walters was an unused substitute in their one all draw at Cardiff City.
Reading Irish delight in Under 21 League Cup Final...19/04/2014
Second leg hosts Reading, with four Irish teenagers in their starting eleven, lifted the inaugural Under 21 League Cup with a two nil victory over Manchester City in the Madejski Stadium this afternoon, for an aggregate four three success. The Premiership club held a three two lead from the first leg but, despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Ian Lawlor, were unable to contain a vibrant Reading, who were skippered by former Bray Wanderers centre back Pierce Sweeney. Defenders Shane Griffin and Sean Long together with midfielder Liam Kelly were all in the starting eleven.
Championship mini programme with Irish challengers...18/04/2014
Irish players were involved in the majority of the Championship contests played on this Good Friday. Most Irish international interest may have focussed on the meeting of Doncaster Rovers and Derby County, where Richard Keogh started, while Jeff Hendrick was a late substitute for the visitors who won two nil. Wigan Athletic defeated Reading by three goals to nil at the DW Stadium, where James McClean, excluded from last weekend's FA Cup semi-final squad, together with the emerging Rob Kiernan, were both unused substitutes. The visiting 'Royals' had Alex Pearce in their side while Stephen Kelly was not in the matchday squad.
Airtricity League series eight completed on Good Friday...18/04/2014
There was a full Airtricity League Premier Division programme played today, Good Friday, with Bray Wanderers setting the wheels in motion when they played out a scoreless draw with visitors Derry City. High flying Cork City defeated Drogheda United by three goals to one in Turner's Cross while Dundalk were held to a two all draw by Shamrock Rovers in Oriel Park. Limerick defeated bottom side Athlone Town by two goals to one in Thomond Park and St Patrick's Athletic enjoyed a three one success over local rivals Bohemian in Richmond Park. The final contest saw Sligo Rovers score a five nil victory against UCD in the Showgrounds.
Fourth place contest enters the final straight...16/04/2014
The contest between Arsenal and Everton for fourth place in the Premiership, the gateway to the Champions League, continued on Tuesday evening when the 'Gunners' defeated West Ham United by three goals to one at the Emirates Stadium. The victory restored them to fourth place, one point above Everton who missed the opportunity to reclaim that crucial slot when they lost by three goals to two at home to Crystal Palace this evening. The 'Toffees' had Seamus Coleman and Aiden McGeady in their starting eleven while James McCarthy replaced his fellow Glaswegian on the hour mark. Meanwhile Darron Gibson has made an early return to training and may well be available for the closing stages of the season. Visitors Crystal Palace had the hugely consistent Damian Delaney in their starting eleven. At the foot of the table, Sunderland and John O'Shea stunned Manchester City when they achieved a two all draw at the Etihad Stadium, but they remain in serious trouble at the foot of the table.
Oriel Park hosts second Setanta Sports Cup semi-final...15/04/2014
The second leg in the second semi-final of the 2014 Setanta Sports Cup took place in Oriel Park, this evening, when Dundalk, holding a two one lead from the first leg, defeated Shamrock Rovers one nil to progress to the final, where they will face Sligo Rovers on the 10th May 10th.
Championship hopefuls meet at the Madejski Stadium...14/04/2014
Faltering Reading went a little way towards restoring their Championship promotion hopes, via the play-offs, when the already promoted and champions elect, Leicester City, were held to a one all draw at the Madejski Stadium this evening. Defender Alex Pearce scored the Reading goal but Stephen Kelly was an unused substitute.
Setanta Sports Cup second leg in Inchicore tonight...14/04/2014
The second leg in the first semi-final of the 2014 Setanta Sports Cup took place in Richmond Park this evening, when St Patrick's Athletic, trailing two nil from the first leg, suffered a crushing five one defeat against Sligo Rovers, to exit the competition on a seven one aggregate scoreline.
Ireland candidates set to feature in FA Cup Final...13/04/2014
This afternoon's second FA Cup semi-final saw Hull City defeat League One opponents Sheffield United by five goals to three in a thrilling encounter. Ireland hopefuls David Meyler, who started, and 64th minute substitute Stephen Quinn both scored for the 'Tigers' and the watching Robbie Brady, who has returned to light training, will be eager to make himself available for the final against Arsenal on Saturday the 17th May 2014.
Saturday afternoon Premiership action...12/04/2014
The steadily consistent Damian Delaney was again in Premiership action, as hosts Crystal Palace scored the only goal to defeat Aston Villa, for whom fellow left sided centre back, Ciaran Clark was also a starter. Relegation threatened Fulham and Norwich City met at Craven Cottage with the hosts prevailing through the only goal. Wes Hoolihan was a late substitute for the visitors. The Stoke City trio of Stephen Ireland, Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson started while Jon Walters was a very late substitute, as the hosts defeated visitors Newcastle United with the only goal. Goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who played the last two fixtures, was an unused visiting substitute. John O'Shea returned to the starting eleven for struggling Sunderland who went down to a one nil home defeat by a vibrant Everton side, for whom Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy started, while Aiden McGeady was introduced from the bench with twelve minutes remaining.