Irish Eye

Ireland's Anthony Stokes got his Hibs debut off to the best possible start yesterday

Meanwhile, it was also an eventful day for another fringe member of Martin O’Neill’s squad.

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ANTHONY STOKES HELPED Hibs move to within two points of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Championship as he scored on his debut for the club yesterday in their 3-1 victory over St Mirren.

The Dubliner, who has joined the team on loan after falling out of favour at parent side Celtic, came on as a 71st minute sub to make his debut at Easter Road, and took little time to make an impact in his second spell with the side, tapping home James Keatings’ cross to seal Alan Stubbs’ side’s victory.

Meanwhile, it was an eventful afternoon for another fringe member of the Ireland squad, as Anthony Pilkington scored three goals — one at the wrong end — in Cardiff’s 2-2 draw with Rotherham in the Championship.

In between two composed finishes — Pilkington unwittingly diverted a corner into his own goal — as the Bluebirds earned a point to stay ninth.

Both Pilkington and Stokes would be considered dark horses at best for Ireland’s 23-man Euro 2016 squad in the summer, with neither having played for the Boys in Green since the 4-1 friendly win over USA in November 2014.

27-year-old Stokes did, however, this week insist he was determined to win his Ireland place back, with the opportunity of playing regular first-team football likely to boost his chances of impressing Martin O’Neill ahead of this summer’s big event.

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