Dublin: 14°C Saturday 31 July 2021

An Irish striker ended his goalscoring drought in style this afternoon

Daryl Murphy is back among the goals.

DARYL MURPHY HAS picked the most opportune moment to rediscover his goalscoring form with less than seven days until Ireland’s Euro 2016 play-off.

After winning the Championship’s golden boot award last season, the Ipswich striker had failed to find the net in the first 13 games of the season but ended his barren run in style this afternoon.

Murphy has struggled to replicate his prolific form under the weight of expectation but fired a hat-trick in Ipswich’s 5-2 demolition of Rotherham.

The 32-year-old started Ireland’s group games against Scotland, Gibraltar and, most recently, the famous 1-0 victory over world champions Germany.

Although he struggled to make his presence felt, Martin O’Neill appears to be a fan of the Waterford forward and he could well be given the nod in Zeniga next week.

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With Shane Long in a race against time to be fit for Friday and Robbie Keane’s role being limited largely to an impact sub, Murphy is certainly top of the pecking order.

After scoring 27 league goals last term, Murphy was the subject of reported interest from various Premier League clubs but he opted to commit his long-term future to the Tractor Boys.

Murphy signed a new two-year contract at Portman Road but started the season firing blanks, although his progress had been hindered by injury setbacks.

Speaking last week, he insisted it was only a matter of time before he hit his stride.

“I feel it’s only a matter of time that the goals will come. Until now I hadn’t really been getting chances but I have had scoring opportunities in the last few games and that’s a good sign, I just need one to go in.”

Let’s hope the floodgates open now, and he can open his international account if he gets the chance next week.

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Ryan Bailey

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