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Adam Rooney can't stop scoring and how the other Irish fared this weekend

James McCarthy has continued to defy recent criticism with another solid display but Ciaran Clark’s weekend was brought to an abrupt end.

Good week

Adam Rooney, Aberdeen

Adam Rooney opened the scoring for the Dons in their 2-1 win over Kilmarnock this weekend, a victory that helped close the gap to leaders Celtic to five points.

It’s Rooney’s 26th goal of the season as he continues to push for a call-up to Martin O’Neill’s senior squad.

Source: SPFL/YouTube

James McCarthy, Everton

James McCarthy was one of Everton’s standout performers as they earned a point at Swansea with a 1-1 draw. Goal’s Player Ratings for the game praised the 24-year-old after the draw: ”Looked extremely bright whenever he was on the ball and set up Lennon’s first-half goal with an excellent bouncing cross from the left flank.”

Rob Kiernan, Birmingham City

Birmingham City defender Rob Kiernan scored his first goal of the season as the Blues defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1.

The 24-year-old has made nine starts since joining on loan from Wigan Athletic, showing the strong defensive qualities that he displayed as captain of the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side.

Richard Dunne, QPR

Richard Dunne returned from injury to play his first game since February. It had been predicted that the 35-year-old might not play another Premier League game, but the veteran defender had a late cameo in Queens Park Rangers’ 1-0 loss to leaders Chelsea.

Shane Long, Southampton

Shane Long won the penalty that opened the scoring for Southampton as they defeated Hull City 2-0 . The former Tigers striker was bundled over in the box after getting past defender Alex Bruce, and linked up well with Graziano Pelle up front.

Harry Arter, Bournemouth

Bournemouth strengthened their grip at the top of the Championship with a hard-earned 2-0 win over Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion. Harry Arter played the full game for the Cherries and the latest victory means that it looks increasingly likely that the midfielder will be plying his trade in the Premier League next season.

Bad week

Source: Nick Potts

Ciaran Clark, Aston Villa

Ciaran Clark was forced off injured as Aston Villa recorded a shock 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur. The central defender lasted just 18 minutes before succumbing to a knee injury, and could miss Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool. Villa boss Tim Sherwood confirmed that the 25-year-old is a major doubt . ”It looks like it, which is a real shame because it’s a massive day out,” Sherwood said.

Seamus Coleman, Everton

Everton manager Roberto Martinez was forced to come to Seamus Coleman’s defence after the full-back gave away a penalty in the Toffees 1-1 draw with Swansea. Martinez felt that Coleman was unfairly punished for an accidental handball . ”There is contact, he gets unbalanced,” Martinez said. ”It’s an action that’s not a goal scoring threat, it needs common sense, is that handball? For me the whole action is too soft, I expect the referee to use common sense, there is not enough goal scoring threat to give a penalty.

Sean St Ledger, Orlando City

Sean St Ledger was left frustrated as he spent another week on the sidelines, watching from the bench as Orlando City defeated Portland Timbers 2-0. The 30-year-old defender has started just two games since moving to Major League Soccer. Robbie Keane, meanwhile, missed Los Angeles Galaxy’s 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders due a quad injury.

The week ahead

Source: EMPICS Sport

With just four games left this season, there is plenty at stake in the race for promotion in the Championship. Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town host Cardiff City on Tuesday, April 14 hoping to pick up another win to keep them in the playoff spots.

Cardiff are already out of the promotion race, but can use their last four games to build towards next season. Striker Eoin Doyle has underperformed since signing from Chesterfield, and needs to improve his scoring ratio in order to help his chances of a regular spot next year. Doyle netted 21 goals in League One, but has just one in 12 games since moving up a division.

Other Irish performers will be hoping to aid their respective club’s push for promotion, including Derby County captain Richard Keogh, who heads a Rams Irish contingent that includes Jeff Hendrick and Cyrus Christie.

“There will be twists and turns, and I think there will be teams looking over their shoulder at us,” Keogh told Burton Mail ahead of his side’s 1-1 draw against Brentford. Derby currently sit in the playoff positions and they face bottom-of-the-table Blackpool on Tuesday.

Norwich City and Wes Hoolahan will be looking to maintain their position in second place with a win over Leeds United in order to attain automatic promotion to the Premier League, while Harry Arter and league-leaders Bournemouth face a difficult away trip to Reading.

Goal.com, Ronan Murphy. Additional reporting from Steve O’Rourke.

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