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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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Irish Eyes: Premier League

Michael Maher casts an eye over the performances from the Irish in the top flights of England and Scotland.

Kevin Doyle celebrates scoring for Wolves against Blackpool on Saturday.
Kevin Doyle celebrates scoring for Wolves against Blackpool on Saturday.
Image: Mark Robinson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IT WAS ANOTHER busy weekend, cross channel as Irish players and managers in the top flight of England and Scotland that enjoyed a good few days.

Jon Walters – Stoke City

Rarely can a substitute who comes on after 79 minutes contribute so much in a game. After replacing Matthew Ettherington, Walters was given his big opportunity from the penalty spot after Kenwyne Jones had been fouled by West Brom keeper Scoot Carson.

Walters put the penalty away with great confidence. His afternoon then got even better in stoppage time when he fired in a rebound after being fed by the impressive Jones. A fantastic end to a week where Walters made his international debut.

Owen Coyle – Bolton Wanders

Often the Irish managers in the Premier League get overlooked. However people are now finally sitting up and paying attention to the work
that Owen Coyle is doing at the Reebok.

A fantastic 5-1 demolition of Newcastle at the weekend moved Bolton into the lofty position of fourth in the table, and nobody can deny they are there on merit.  The long-ball Bolton of 18 months ago has been replaced by a side that are a joy to watch, with fluid well-crafted attacks. A certain contender for the Irish job in the future, surely.

Stephen Carr – Birmingham City

Part of a Birmingham defence that stood solid on a barrage of pressure from Chelsea on Saturday. Birmingham may have won 1-0, but the statistics say a bit good deal more about the game.

Birmingham had one shot on target in the 90 minutes – that being the goal. Carr and his Birmingham team-mates in defence resisted every Chelsea attack to help Birmingham  to a famous win. Keith Fahey also played in his familiar left midfield position.

Kevin Doyle – Wolves

The Wexfordman will have left the field very disappointed on Saturday, after Wolves 2-1 defeat at Blackpool. However from a purely personal point of view, Doyle will be delighted to have finally netted his first league goal of the season.

The former Cork City striker scored in the 86th minute with a fine header from George Elokobi’s cross to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Despite a lot of late pressure Blackpool hung on for the win.

Former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy will be beginning to worry now. Despite some good performances, Wolves are currently six points from safety as their tendancy to concede early goals is hurting them. Kevin Foley and Stephen Hunt also played for Wolves.

Adam Rooney –  Inverness Caledonian Thistle

A fantastic hat-trick from the Dublin striker helped Inverness to a well-earned 4-2 victory over Hibernian. The first goal from Inverness was actually scored by another Irish man, Richie Foran.

Rooney’s first goal was a penalty. He then followed this up to score two well-crafted goals to move him up to second in the Scottish Premier league goal-scorers chart.

A fantastic afternoon for Rooney who is in great form, and many Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans are going onto fans’ forums to question why he just cannot seem to get called up to the full Irish squad.

Liam Miller, who has been in fantastic form in recent weeks, scored a penalty in this game also.

Conor Sammon – Kilmarnock

Another Irish striker who is in fantastic form in Scotland. Rangers have had quite an impressive defence this season, but Sammon was still
able to find the net twice against them. Unfortunately it was all in vain as Kilmarnock.

Sammon’s first goal was a tap in from close range, while his second involved sliding in at the back post to get a vital touch on the ball. Having such a great season and now sits joint third in the Scottish Premier League goalscorers chart just behind Adam Rooney.

Now see how the Irish stars of the Championship did this weekend.

-Michael Maher blogs about Irish football at Greenscene.

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Michael Maher

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