Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport
With a Corkman as captain, Barnsley took a giant step towards Wembley this evening
Conor Hourihane is hoping to continue his side’s impressive season.

IT’S ALREADY BEEN quite a memorable season for Republic of Ireland U21 international Conor Hourihane.

Last month, the 25-year-old from Bandon in Cork, climbed the Wembley steps to lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after his Barnsley side beat Oxford United.

And this evening, the captain was involved in another huge performance from the Tykes.

Facing Walsall in the first-leg of their League One play-off semi-final, Barnsley racked up a 3-0 win in front of their own fans and now look almost certain to be back at Wembley for the decider, where they’ll take on either Millwall or Bradford for a place in next season’s Championship.

Barnsley v Oxford United - Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Final - Wembley Stadium Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images Conor Hourihane lifts the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Wembley last month. Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Aidy White –  who is another former Irish underage international – came off the bench for Barnsley and played the last 15 minutes.

The Irish influence extended to the Walsall side too with Limerick’s Anthony Forde playing the full 90.

The midfielder went close to pulling a goal back for his side late in the second-half after a brace from Sam Winnall and an own goal from Jason Demetriou had put Barnsley in complete control.

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